The practical inter-Korean agenda for the mid-1990s is clear. Neither Seoul nor Pyongyang, albeit for quite different reasons, wish to see a collapse of Kim Il Sung's regime. Therefore, it is in both their interests to stave off such a prospect. This can be done by Seoul offering wide-ranging aid and investment, and Pyongyang accepting the offer.
Such a process was beginning in 1992, but the nuclear issue halted it. It remains much the surest way of keeping the peace while defusing tension and promoting change on the peninsula. By contrast, backing Kim Il Sung further into his corner can only increase tension and risk.
Leeds University Korea Project
Leeds, West Yorkshire
21 JuneReuse content