NORTH KOREA: Squabble over Name-Calling an Obstacle to Progress

RYAN LIPPERT WRITES – Tension between North and South Korea is old news, but a recent offer by the North offers a ray of hope that it’s possible for relations to cool down.

Earlier this week, North Korea proposed that the two countries tone down their usually confrontational language. If both countries agree to do so, the South may receive slightly better treatment in the North’s state-run media, where South Koreans are often accused of treason, being instruments of the U.S. government, and the like. In the South, people may then be less inclined to set pictures of Kim Jong-un on fire.

North Korea also offered to make an effort to defuse the volatile situation on the west coast of the Korean peninsula. However, the country provided few details regarding how it would do this.

These offers sound like they could lead to a more peaceful Korea. However, it is possible the South will decline this meager peace offering because the North also asked South Korea to end military drills with the U.S. The South refused and stated it will stop only when the North is no longer a threat.

The South also appears unwilling to accept the North’s other offers, claiming that, between the two countries, the North is far more confrontational. North and South Korea both seem open to peace, but peace seems unlikely if the name-calling continues.

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