North Korea to End Korean War and Declare Peace with South Korea?

Very early this morning, Reuters announced this remarkable headline:

This is rather surprising, given the antagonistic stance North Korea has taken against South Korea and the US. So here are some things to take into consideration:

In 2005, a 6 party treaty had North Korea “committed to abandoning all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs.” Only ten days ago, they were threatening to rescind that treaty, after asking for more concessions from the United States. They took a very hard stance:

“Their position has shifted. Whereas before, under the Leap Day deal, it was simultaneous actions, as with the September 2005 joint statement, simultaneous actions were one of the key aspects. There is now emphasis on unilateral action by the U.S. and then the North Koreans may respond.”

Recently, private firms from Southern Korea have sought to provide aid to the flood-stricken North.

North Korea made economic agreements with China two weeks ago, was set to meet with Iran this week, and reached out to Japan for political relations after four years. This could be a sign of more open relations  after the death of Kim Jong Il.

On the other hand, satellite evidence shows they are making progress with their Nuclear program.

But what would peace even mean?

North Korea is known for a brutally oppressive government that brainwashes it’s citizens to mindlessly worship the state. Just recently in the Olympics, a North Korean athlete was heard to say in a rare interview:

“I believe the great Kim Jong Il looked over me. … I am very happy and give thanks to our Great Leader for giving me the strength to lift this weight. I believe Kim Jong Il gave me the record and all my achievements. It is all because of him.”

Notice it’s Kim Jong Il he thanks, not the current leader, Kim Jong Sung. He is literally crediting a dead leader for his excellence in the Olympics.

Is this new regime open to real reforms?

This was Kim Il Sung’s response to the US conducting military drills with Southern Korea:

North Korea routinely vows retaliation against the drills, saying they provoke conflict in the region. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un toured military units on western border islands and told them to prepare for “sacred war” should “even a single shell” hit the country’s territory, the official Korean Central News Agency said Aug. 18.

This was reported a mere 5 days ago, as the drills are set to be conducted on the 31st.

If you need more evidence of North Korea gearing itself up for a confrontation specifically against America, here you go:

“This bomb is the product of the Americans. Get revenge a thousand hundred times against the Americans”

“Let’s drive the U.S. imperialists out and reunite the fatherland!”

“Do not forget the U.S. imperialist wolves!”

“The U.S. is truly an axis of evil”

Or has North Korea finally been forced to recognize it’s failure to feed and provide for it’s citizens through a deadly flood and years of starvation?

I would be on the lookout for concessions the White House might have made in order to secure some kind of peace agreement from North Korea in order to take the focus off of Iran’s nuclear debacle, and Obama’s flailing re-election campaign.


And of course, this reminds me of the brilliant and poignant description of North Korea by the late Christopher Hitchens: