[북한정론] Kim Jong-un and Kishida | DailyNK

The Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the North Korean Workers’ Party, reported on April 19 that Chairman Kim Jong-un gave on-site guidance to the National Space Development Agency the previous day (18th). Chairman Kim’s daughter, Kim Joo-ae, also accompanied him on the field support map. /Photo = Labor Newspaper News 1

The recent situation surrounding the Korean Peninsula is the ▲ 《April 26 Washington Declaration》, which officially documented that “we will respond to nuclear weapons with nuclear weapons,” ▲“If Kim Jong-un commits a nuclear provocation, the North Korean regime will respond promptly, decisively and overwhelmingly to the United States. After President Biden’s public warning, “I will put an end to it,” a distinctly different atmosphere has continued.

The bewildered look of North Korea and the sinking into the swamp of security dilemma were felt everywhere. In other words, after the declaration, North Korea’s condemning statements, comments, and rallies remained at the customary and formal level, and Kim Jong-un also stopped strategic and tactical provocations. Even after he came out after a month-long hiding, he only encouraged the delayed launch of the reconnaissance satellite (originally planned for April).

However, at the end of May, North Korea announced that it would “launch reconnaissance satellites between May 31st and June 11th,” and South Korea, the U.S. and Japan showed their will to respond strongly, and the Korean Peninsula is once again engulfed in turbulence. However, in the midst of this, there are also notable movements, such as the North Korean Foreign Ministry showing interest in Japan’s Prime Minister Kishida’s proposal for a summit meeting, albeit with conditions attached. Let’s diagnose its meaning.

unusual trend

First, on May 28, North Korea adopted the Politburo’s decision to convene the 8th Plenary Meeting of the 8th Party in early June. Judging from the agenda of this meeting, the main purpose of this meeting will be ▲ settlement of accounts for the first half of the year and encouragement to achieve goals in the second half, but ▲ pending issues such as nuclear policy and COVID-19 may be discussed. ▲ Above all else, convening a policy meeting at the highest level is a sign that the review of future strategic tactics toward South Korea and the United States has been completed.

“The Politburo of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea held a meeting of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea in the first half of June in order to discuss the policy issues of great significance in the development of our revolution and to review the business conditions of the party and state administrative agencies and the actual implementation of the national economic plan for the first half of 2023. It is decided to convene the 8th plenary meeting of the 8th class” (2023.5.29. Korean Central News Agency)

second. On May 28, Yonhap News reported that “As a result of recent satellite imagery analysis by ‘Beyond Parallel,’ a website specializing in North Korea at the Institute for International Strategic Studies in the United States, a significant expansion, including the construction of a new launch pad, was found at the Seohae satellite launch site in Dongchang-ri, Cheolsan-gun, North Pyongan Province. Construction is in progress,” he reported. This trend is believed to be related to North Korea’s upcoming launch of reconnaissance satellites and subsequent launches.

“Preparations for the launch of the first military reconnaissance satellite have entered the final stage… Kim Jong-un inspected the Satellite Launch Preparation Committee in charge of launching the first military reconnaissance satellite and approved the ‘future action plan’” (2023.5.17. Korean Central News Agency)

“The first military reconnaissance satellite, which will be launched soon in June, and various reconnaissance means to be newly tested are tracking and monitoring in real time the dangerous military actions of the United States and its followers, who are revealing their reckless aggression ambitions day by day. , it is indispensable in identifying, deterring and preparing in advance.”

Third, on May 29, the Japan Coast Guard announced that “North Korea gave notice that it would launch a satellite between 0:00 on the 31st and 0:00 on the 11th of next month.” North Korea notified Japan in advance because Japan is the coordinator of the navigation area in the region to which North Korea belongs according to International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulations. However, the fact that Japan, which is another axis of the confrontational war for nuclear development, was notified in advance has several meanings. In other words, the legitimacy and peacefulness of the satellite launch is natural and can be interpreted as sending some kind of diplomatic gesture to Japan.

Fourth, on May 28, Prime Minister Kishida of Japan said, “I want to meet with Kim Jong-un to resolve the issue of Japanese abductees, and I want high-level consultations for him first.” Kishida’s statements of hope for the summit have continued since his inauguration, but it is noteworthy in light of the current situation, such as the time when the Korea-US-Japan cooperation system is being further strengthened and the domestic opposition group raising a large-scale issue about the discharge of contaminated water in Fukushima.

Fifth, on May 29, North Korea’s Vice Foreign Minister Park Sang-gil announced a related statement a day after Prime Minister Kishida’s proposal to restore dialogue and said, “The possibility of resuming dialogue on the condition that Japan’s policy toward North Korea changes along with the principled argument that the abductee issue has been resolved.” By mentioning ”, the ball was passed back to the Japanese side.

It is a statement that cannot be overlooked in that North Korea has continued to criticize Japan at every major opportunity, such as “the establishment of an information sharing system between the US and Japan and South Korea will lead to a three-party crisis sharing” (May 25, 2023). It is also possible to speculate that some kind of behind-the-scenes coordination is going on between the two sides.

“Right now, Japan is talking about a “summit meeting without preconditions”, but in reality, it is talking about resolving the abductions issue that has already been resolved and the right to self-defense of our state, and is putting forward as a prerequisite for improving Korea-Japan relations… We are holding on to the past, and we cannot move forward towards the future. If Japan makes a new decision and seeks a way out to improve relations from a large-national attitude that acknowledges each other as they are in line with the changed international trends and times without being bound by the past, then there is no reason why the two countries cannot meet each other. position of the republican government. Japan must show its will to solve the problem with actions, not words.” (2023.5.29. Chosun Central News Agency)

Sixth, on May 29, the Republic of Korea and Japan ▲regarded North Korea’s launch of reconnaissance satellites as “a violation of the UN Security Council resolution banning all launches using ballistic missile launch technology” and ▲urged an immediate halt and ▲forced He warned that he would pay the price.

“Prime Minister Kishida recognized this as a serious issue regarding public safety at the Prime Minister’s Office that day, and said that he was deploying surface-to-air guided missile Patriot units and Aegis ships in Okinawa Prefecture, and Yasu Hamada in preparation for North Korea’s projectiles or debris falling into his territory. Defense Minister Kazu said that he had issued a ‘destruction order’” (2023.5.29. Yonhap News)

Chairman Kim Jong-un gives field guidance to the Seohae Satellite Launching Site in Dongchang-ri, Cheolsan-gun, North Pyongan Province in March 2022. /Photo = Labor Newspaper News 1

Prospects and Countermeasures

This trend, in a nutshell, suggests that ▲the long agony and breathing due to Kim Jong-un’s embarrassment over the 《Washington Declaration》 and insufficient preparation for strategic provocations are over and ▲a new phase of action is beginning. So what is it?

What we should pay attention to in Kim Jong-un’s actions is that ① he pushed ahead with the launch of a reconnaissance satellite ② he convened the highest-level policy meeting that followed ③ he secretly left room for dialogue with Japan. That can be summed up as ‘Continuing the Gangdaegang Strategic Provocation and Shaking Korea-US-Japan Cooperation’.

The author believes that Kim Jong-un’s watch on the Korean Peninsula will be strengthened in 2023 when there are no elections in the Republic of Korea and the United States (‘nuclear power advancement’) until the “Washington Declaration” → Seek to resume negotiations in 2024 when there are US presidential elections and Korean general elections. (‘Again dance with Trump’) → In 2025, when the new US government is launched, it has been judged that the disarmament negotiations will be a big deal (‘nuclear and practical security at the same time’).

However, due to the diplomatic achievements of the Yoon Seok-yeol government with the United States and Japan, especially the Washington Declaration, Kim Jong-un’s scenario of ‘together with the United States and all days with the United States’, which is trying to face the United States directly, is a big obstacle. ) was encountered. This is because as time goes by, Kim Jong-un’s political, economic and diplomatic position will inevitably weaken. Therefore, before going directly to the United States, there is a high possibility of trying to shake Japan, the weakest link in the trilateral cooperation between Korea, the US and Japan (the so-called ‘hat strap tactic’: the hat will fly off your head if you cut only one string).

In other words, the strategy to form a new cold war structure of ‘a more solidified North Korea, China, Russia, and the gradually shaking Korea-US-Japan trilateral system’, the ‘hit & run’ tactic will become the nucleus of Kim Jong-un’s survival strategy and tactics in the future. By doing so, ① our status as a nuclear power (disarmament talks) will be recognized, ② we will gradually overcome economic difficulties, and ③ we will be able to put more pressure on the Yoon Seok-yeol government.

In this process, we will amplify the South-South conflict and the separation between South Korea and the United States by simultaneously supporting the anti-US, anti-Japanese, and anti-government struggles of domestic anti-government and pro-North Korea forces. It is expected to promote speech.

On the other hand, Japanese Prime Minister Kishida, a diplomat, under the stance of ‘Alliance is an alliance, national interest is national interest’, responds in principle to North Korea’s provocations in thorough cooperation with South Korea and the US (including interception and destruction when debris from a North Korean projectile falls into Japanese waters) We will do it, but we will continue to strengthen the two-handed gyeomjang (double-handed 兼將) movement that continues to send appeasement gestures to China and North Korea. This is because the North Korean issue helps Japan to transform itself into a country capable of war, raise domestic approval ratings, and gain practical benefits in fierce competition for national interests.

Therefore, we should neither criticize nor neglect it. This is because the lesson of history is that the international community ultimately only exists in the national interest. Values, alliances, self-strength, and national interests are like the two sides of a coin. This is because there is always a possibility that the policy toward North Korea will change from ‘denuclearization to disarmament’, just as the policy tone toward China changed from ‘decoupling to derisking’ at the last G7 meeting in Hiroshima.

This is a time of great revolution and the greatest inflection point in the nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula. Based on the of looking through a microscope and a telescope, while boldly punishing North Korea’s wrong actions in cooperation with the international community, it is necessary to politely track and deal with the behind-the-scenes movements of key stakeholders on the Korean Peninsula, such as the United States and Japan. It’s time to do it.

The present of May and June 2023 is, of course, important. However, someone who leads the country concludes the article with a topical character, emphasizing the need for an attitude to at least consider 2024, no, 5 or 10 years later (‘bold and meticulous strategic mind’).

Yubimuhwan – National Consolidation – Main Action – Jeoksu Cheonseok (滴水穿石)!

※ Columns written by outside authors may not match the editorial direction of this magazine.

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