[imText1]While North Korea revealed its decision to reconvene the six-party talks, great interest is stirring within North Korea on this issue.
This is the second of North Korea’s nuke issues. Though the first crisis was safely passed in ’94 as a result of compromises made through the “Geneva Agreement,” the situation this time is different.
In the early 90’s, the situation within North Korea was much more stable than today. When North Korea rejected the International Atomic Energy Agencies (IAEA) request to inspect nuclear power plants, the U.S. prepared an “Attack at Yongbyon Reactor Site,” North Korean authorities proclaimed a quasi-war and citizens were incited to fight with faith.
In addition, under the slogan “Single-minded unity” officials, the military and people continued to operate like a structured organization. It wasn’t even difficult to recruit people. Rather, as it was prior to Kim Il Sung’s death, the country was politically stable.
Feelings of isolation, self-reliance to live
However, unlike the first crisis, today people have feelings of doubt and say ‘We will all die by trusting Kim Jong Il’ and each individual retrospectively chooses to rely on oneself in order to live.
Though authorities conducted a nuclear experiment in concurrence with the Chosun Workers Party Establishing Day (Oct.10) to regain the destroyed fundamental principles of the ruling power, the attempt was in truth greatly insufficient to combat the feelings of isolation.
Also if the food crisis intensifies, masses of people will defect at the boarder and this will not impossible to stop. This is because many people have already experienced the first food crisis.
Recently, strategies taken by citizens to live have changed. People who have already experienced one death crisis are preparing for a declining food crisis next year and are stocking up on goods such as rice, creating chaos in market prices.
Rice at Jangmadang (a sort of traditional markets) which cost 1,000 won per kilo prior to the nuclear experiments now sells for 1,500won (US$ 0.52) and the local currency has also risen dramatically.
Not only did grains not meet the necessary criteria this year due to the flood damages, following the missile launch South Korea ceased its food aid and China also reduced its food aid significantly in comparison to last year. Hence, the prospect for the future seems uncertain.
Though the first nuclear crisis was overcome with the “Geneva Agreement,” it is unclear whether or not the Bush Administration’s policy will offer “luck” like the first. If the international sanctions affect about half of the people living in North Korea, it is possible that the country will fall into disorder.
A former authority official, defector Kim Myung Joon (59, pseudonym) said in relation to North Korea reconvening the six-party talks, “If the North Korean regime continues to incur isolation like it has until now, it is likely that skepticisms by the people will rise. In order to reduce people’s doubts, North Korea must gain time by reconvening the talks and receive foreign aid.”