Allá vamos, Camarada Kim!



Impactó fuerte la noticia de que enviados de Corea del Sur (foto de arriba) viajaron hoy a Corea del Norte para comenzar un entibiamiento de las relaciones entre ambos países. La noticia es buenísima, pero indica un nivel de independencia por parte de Corea del Sur que le resulta inquietante al Imperio. Mirá si se hacen amigos del Camarada Kim! Así lo cuenta el periodista Choe Sang-Hunmarch para el New York Times:


Título: South Korean Envoys Meet Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang

Leyenda de la foto de arriba: Chung Eui-yong, center, a national security adviser to South Korea’s president, and Suh Hoon, left, head of the National Intelligence Service, departing for Pyongyang, North Korea, on Monday. Credit Yonhap, via European Pressphoto Agency

Texto: Top aides of President Moon Jae-in of South Korea arrived in North Korea on Monday and met its leader, Kim Jong-un, moving to improve inter-Korean relations and help start a dialogue between the North and the United States.

Mr. Moon’s national security adviser, Chung Eui-yong, and the director of the National Intelligence Service, Suh Hoon, were the first South Korean officials to meet Mr. Kim since he took power six years ago, a spokesman for Mr. Moon said. The two hope to learn directly from Mr. Kim whether the North is interested in negotiating an end to his nuclear weapons program through a dialogue with the United States.

Mr. Chung and Mr. Suh arrived in Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, on Monday afternoon and were said to be carrying a letter from Mr. Moon to Mr. Kim.

After arriving, the South Korean envoys were invited to a meeting with Mr. Kim, Mr. Moon’s spokesman, Kim Eui-kyeom, said during a news conference in Seoul, the South Korean capital. Mr. Kim was also hosting a dinner for the men, the first South Korean envoys to visit his country in 11 years, the spokesman said.

Mr. Moon and Mr. Kim have both said they want to use an opening created by the North’s participation in the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, last month to improve inter-Korean ties.

But Washington remains deeply skeptical of any such attempt by the South without any progress in international efforts to end the North’s nuclear weapons program. Although he advocates dialogue with North Korea, Mr. Moon acknowledges that those two sets of efforts must move “in parallel” and has been urging the United States and North Korea to start negotiations on the nuclear program.

The aides’ two-day trip to the North reciprocates an earlier visit by Mr. Kim’s sister and special envoy, Kim Yo-jong, who met with Mr. Moon in Seoul last month and invited him on her brother’s behalf to visit the North.

After returning home from Pyongyang, the South Korean envoys will fly to Washington for follow-up discussions with the Trump administration.

Washington and Pyongyang remain far apart over the terms under which they would start such a dialogue, a gap that South Korea seeks to narrow.

The Trump administration says it is determined not to repeat what it calls the mistakes of its predecessors, who tried both dialogue and sanctions but failed to stop the North’s nuclear program. Washington now says it will enter negotiations with North Korea only after it commits to discussing denuclearization.

American officials fear that North Korea is more interested in weakening sanctions that have begun biting the impoverished country than engaging in serious negotiations. Even if talks begin, they say, Washington will not stop its campaign of “maximum” pressure and sanctions until the North dismantles its nuclear weapons program.

But North Korea rejects any preconditions for talks, saying Washington must treat it like an “equal” nuclear power. It also insists that any talks with Washington would have to deal not only with its nuclear program but also with “hostile” American policies, like the United States’ annual joint military exercises with the South, which the North says forced it to seek a nuclear deterrent in the first place.

Mr. Moon spent most of the last year helplessly watching the Korean Peninsula edge toward a possible war, as the North test-launched intercontinental ballistic missiles and conducted its most powerful nuclear test, and Mr. Trump threatened to rain down “fire and fury” on North Korea.

Mr. Moon saw an opening when Mr. Kim agreed to send North Korean envoys, as well as athletes and cheerleaders, to the Pyeongchang Olympics. He has since assumed the role of a matchmaker in persuading Washington and Pyongyang to soften their stances enough to make dialogue possible.

The last time South Korea sent an envoy to Pyongyang was in 2007, toward the tail end of the South’s decade-long “Sunshine Policy” of encouraging economic and other exchanges with the North. But a conservative leader took power in Seoul the following year, cutting off inter-Korean trade in retaliation against the North’s nuclear weapons development and other provocations.

Kim Jong-un has accelerated his country’s nuclear and missile tests since inheriting power after his father, Kim Jong-il, died in 2011. After launching an intercontinental ballistic missile in November, Mr. Kim claimed to have a “nuclear button” on his desk with which he could fire missiles capable of reaching the mainland United States. American officials say Mr. Kim is getting dangerously close to achieving the ability to strike the United States with nuclear-tipped missiles.

Mr. Kim, at 34, is one of the world’s youngest and most reclusive dictators. He has met with envoys from China and Cuba, as well as personal guests, including the American basketball star Dennis Rodman. But until now, he has never met any envoy from South Korea. Neither has he visited any foreign country as North Korea’s leader, although he studied in Switzerland as a teenager.



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