Saturday, May 26, 2007
Rice to the North
Beginning June 29, the 21st minister-level talk between the north and south will be held in Seoul. The two sides managed to carry out most of the plans that they agreed upon in the 20th talk, such as test-running of each sides’ trains across the DMZ, and reunion of dispersed families which has been suspended for some eleven months. However, one problem is casting shadow upon the prospect of this coming talk, which is the south’s decision to delay (or reconsider) its food assistance to the north. As the north failed to show some understandable outcome regarding dismantlement of its nuclear facilities (even though the deadline for its completion have long been passed – NK was given 60day period since the February 13th accord), the U.S. and Japan showed their concerns about this matter, and the south could not neglect their apprehensions (and domestic concerns as well). Furthermore, the recent North Korean missile launch makes it more difficult to persuade the South Korean National Assembly and most importantly, the general public opinion regarding this shipment to North Korea.