South Korea isn't expected to comply with North Korea's list of demands, but the rigid list might just be a sign that diplomacy isn't out of the question and that it might actually values a relationship with the United States. The demands include paying proper respect to Kim Jong-Il during the mourning period for the late leader and eliminating its military exercises with the United States. The Guardian and The New York Times both report that South Korea is unlikely to accept those terms.
On Wednesday, Kurt M. Campbell, an Assistant Secretary of State, detailed the terms of U.S. relationship with Pyongyang. "We agreed that the path is open to North Korea toward the resumption of talks and improved relations with the United States, he said. "We also underscored again very clearly that the road to these improved relations runs through Seoul for North Korea."
There's at least one person in the South Korean government who doesn't share the "it's the thought that counts" mantra which some analysts have adopted. "Our government doesn’t think it necessary to take pains to respond to these issues raised by the North,” an official at the South’s Unification Ministry told The New York Times. "It’s regrettable that North Korea makes these absurd demands as part of its propaganda."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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