North Korea Turns Friendly Once More

North Korea, which chose to ramp up tensions with its accusatory statements following the Daecheon Naval Battle in the West Sea on the 10th, has, contradictorily, issued a statement calling for sincere inter-Korean dialogue and negotiations.

One North Korean radio station, Pyongyang Broadcasting, broadcast an editorial, “Our constant stance towards dialogue and negotiations,” on Monday, claiming that, “North and South must talk to and cooperate with each other in order to unify in a peaceful way.” The editorial exhibited a placatory attitude, saying, “We cannot solve the misunderstandings and distrust between North and South and reform our relationship without dialogue and negotiations.”

The radio editorial concluded, “Inter-Korean dialogue and negotiations depend on the South.”

This is a polar opposite attitude to that which North Korea had been showing since the battle. On the day of the battle, North Korea demanded responsible actions to avoid a repeat and a full apology from the South in the name of the high command of the Chosun People’s Army. On the 12th, Pyongyang went further, defining the battle as an “intentional and planned provocation” by the South Korean military authorities and asserting, “South Korea will have to pay dearly for it.”

And yet, the Pyongyang Broadcasting editorial suggested, “Inter-Korean dialogue and negotiations are for bringing about national reconciliation, solidarity and unification through the development of the North-South relationship.”

It added, “If the inter-Korean joint statements are fully implemented, all problems between North and South will be smoothly solved. We have to adopt the right position and attitude to implement faithfully the joint statements.”

It added, “Nobody should try and avoid the pursuit of dialogue and negotiations for foul political purposes, or misuse them in order to freeze the division of Korea. The core requirement for inter-Korean dialogue and negotiations is respect for one another’s ideology and system.”

For their part, the South Korean Ministry of National Defense revealed Monday that the North Korean navy is strengthening its patrols along the Northern Limit Line (NLL) in the West Sea, but has noted no signs of additional provocation.”