Stability on the Peninsula

South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s statements continue to confuse observers.  She has said that she is most interested in building trust with the North, but she has brought back ideas and government policies from the authoritarian past.  She suggests she is interested in peaceful reunification, but she does not talk or act on North-South rapprochement but rather on assumptions that the North will peacefully collapse soon.  Experienced observers do not make that prediction.  She talks about the North-South issue in Germany, Beijing, Washington, and asks for their help, but she will not make obvious preparations for inter-Korean dialogue.

Certainly she has recognized – as far back as the campaign period for President in 2002, when she authored an article, A New Kind of Korea, in Foreign Affairs journal – that a Korean president today must address the North-South dilemma if they are to be viewed as serious.  She has also made several high-profile speeches and gestures internationally that addressed in one way or another the continuing insecurity on the Korean Peninsula and the drag that frozen diplomacy exerts on multiple foreign and domestic interests, be they Korean, Peninsular, regional, alliance, or global.

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