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Inter-Korean Relations: Past, Present and Future (Panel 1)

Discussants: Kim Kyung Won, Ambassador, and Victor D. Cha
Moderator: Don Oberdorfer, Chairman of the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies
June 12, 2002
Council on Foreign Relations


U.S. and Korean Perspectives on the Sunshine Policy

Amb. Kim Kyung Won: [AKKW]:      I thought that Chairman Kim referred to the top leader in North Korea. I now have the privilege of sharing my title, though temporarily with General Kim.

We have three distinguished experts to discuss the U.S. and Korean perspectives on the sunshine policy.  We have been advised not to get stuck on the vocabulary business.  We will try not to.  But, I doubt very much that it's going to be possible for us not to pay some attention to the vocabulary.  Because the, it's, the phrase, the sunshine policy, itself, has been subject to much debate.  At least at home in Korea.  We have three experts to discuss these issues, this morning, and I have been advised by the organizing authorities to give each one of them no more than ten minutes initially.  So that we can have some time for free interchange of ideas.  First, I'm going to ask Don Oberdorfer, who I'm sure you all know, who is the author of the distinguished book on Korea, Two Koreas.  To give us his view of the historical context for sunshine policy.  Don?

               Don Oberdorfer [DO]:    Thank you, Chairman Kim.  Well, my job as a journalist historian is to provide a bit of historical context, as Kim Kyung Won said, and I will do so, but I can't resist adding a few words about the future at the end.  There's concern in many quarters about the lack of progress between North and South, about the hostility between the United States and North Korea.  This is nothing new.  Historically, this is the norm.  And the hopeful developments of the six years from 1994 to 2000 were the exception.  I'll touch on some of the historical highlights, but very rapidly, to keep within your time constraints.  Hostility between the two antithetical regimes in North and South, which were created as a result of World War II immensely deepened with the Korean War of 1950 to '53.  There was little hostility all around, until Pac Chung He(?), and Kim Il Sung drafted a joint statement in 1972, in the wake of the U.S. opening to the People's Republic of China.  But the North-South context, and the hope for accord did not last.  I was present for some of those soaring hopes.  In September of 1972, when the first group of North Koreans came to Seoul, under the guise of a Red Cross delegation, and people lined the streets to see them, hoping and believing that this was going to bring peace.  Unfortunately, it did not.  I also witnessed one of the subsequent low points that followed, on the 15th of August, 1974, when I was sitting in the National Theater, In Seoul, and I suddenly heard a noise, and turned around, and saw a man running right down the middle of the aisle, firing his gun at the President Pac Kim(?), he, missing, actually, he hit the lectern, it turned out to be a bullet proof lectern, but behind which President Parc ducked.  Everybody on the stage, except, with one exception had been a previous military person in the military-lead Parc regime, and each one of them (claps hands) hit the deck when the first shot was fired.  Except for the President's wife, who had no such military training or background, who sat there, and who was killed by the bullets from an assassin who had been trained and instigated by North Korea.  As you can imagine, that chilled the relationship for some time.  With the United States, North Korea was long a pariah state.  Which the United States did not wish to engage under any circumstance, except as it had to at the DMZ.  And with few exceptions, it avoided engaging North Korea.  Ironically, the ax killings of two American officers in the DMZ in 1976, which ended with the threat of massive U.S. force against North Korea, seems to have motivated Kim Il Sung to make extensive efforts, including a personal letter to the newly elected President Jimmy Carter, to establish U.S. DPRK contacts in negotiations.  This did not succeed.  Although Carter, in 1979, came up with the idea of a three-way meeting of himself, Parc Chung He(?) and Kim Il Sung in the DMZ.  To usher in a new era.  This was blocked, in part, by Ambassador Bill Gleysteen, who just took his seat over here...who threatened to resign in protest.  If such a meeting was proposed.  The idea was watered down, but in the end, rejected, by North Korea.  In the 1980s, Parc's(?) successor, Chun Du Wun(?), held several secret meetings with authorities from North Korea, and he sent his Chief of Intelligence up there to see Kim Il Sung, and engineered the first limited reunions of divided families.  But, the first serious accords between the North and South came in December, 1991.  During the Rotay Oo(?) era, partly as a result of the collapse of the Soviet Union.  As a reward to Pyung Yang(?) for these accords, the first Bush administration, George H. W. Bush, authorized a meeting in New York of Kim Yung Sun(?), a senior aid, to Kim Il Sung(?), and Undersecretary of State, R.E. Cantor(?), but with instructions that it was to be one meeting only.  The great breakthrough for the United States took place in 1993 and 1994, as a result of nuclear crisis with North Korea.  The U.S. Government was forced to engage.  Top officials, including President Clinton, looked into the abyss of potential war on the Korean Peninsula with North Korean, and decided it would be a disaster.  In human terms, in political terms, and economic terms, it would have wrecked Clinton's first term as President of the United States.  The United States and North Korea decided to negotiate instead of fight over the nuclear issues, which lead to the agreed framework of late 1994, to halt the North Korean nuclear weapons program, and the first non-hostile relationship in history, between the United States and the DPRK.  The Republic of Korea, under Kim Yung Sung(?) had to be coaxed along.  The courage and diplomatic skill of the then foreign minister Han So Du(?), was crucial in doing this.  I pause here to emphasize a point with great relevance, I think, for the current situation.  As a result of looking into the abyss of war, most elements of the United States Department of Defense, the U.S. Military, became fully supportive of engagement with North Korea.  Today, however, a different group of leaders is in charge of the Pentagon, and the Department of Defense has reverted to its historic skepticism about negotiations with the North.  State Department, as usual, wishes to engage and to negotiate.  The election of Kim Dae Jung(?), in December of 1997, brought the Sunshine Policy and a new phase of interaction.  Kim as always espoused engagement with North Korea at least, since the first time I met him, shortly before he was kidnapped from Japan by the R.O.K. secret police in 1973.  His convictions, and especially his determination, as President, led to the first North-South summit meeting in history, which began in Chyung Yang(?) on June 13th, 2000.  Exactly two years ago today.  With the hopes for fundamentally positive and improved inter-Korean relationship.  On the American side, former Secretary of Defense William Perry(?), who had presided over the Pentagon, at the time of the 1994 nuclear crisis, determined that North Korea was not going to collapse, and that the United States should explore negotiations on Chyung Yang's(?) ballistic missile program.  This led to Marshall Joe Yung Rock's(?) visit to Washington in 2000, and Secretary Albright's promising, but incomplete negotiations in Chyung Yang at the end of that year.  The coming of the George W. Bush administration ushered in a new phase, or perhaps in the light of history, revised and old phase between these antagonists.  It became clear in Bush's first meeting with Kim Dae Jung(?) in March of last year, that he had harbored passionate opposition to North Korea and was highly skeptical about dealing with it.  Then came his Axis of Evil Speech, this January, and a variety of additional evidence of his opposition and skepticism.  The momentum that had been built up between North Korea and the United States in the Clinton Administration evaporated, and despite a visit to Pyung Yang(?) this March by Lim Dung Wun(?), the North-South relationship has also languished, though it has not reverted to hostility.  So, and here I'm departing from historical to the analytical, or perhaps speculative, what is likely to lie ahead?  First, in the absence of some dramatic new development regarding the Korean Peninsula, I do not expect major moves from any quarter before the R.O.K. elections in December, and probably not before the new President in Seoul takes hold.  Everybody wants to see who wins the election and what his policies might be.  Second, I think U.S.- DPRK meetings will resume fairly soon, but I expect to see each side jockeying for tactical advantage in these discussions, and under current conditions, I expect little result.  The Bush Administration is having the devil's own time deciding what policies to put forth in these negotiations or discussions.  They're not really going to be negotiations, I don't think.  My perception is that George W. Bush leads what I call an ideological/pragmatic administration.  Bush is inclined to be ideological.  But he can turn pragmatic if confronted with situations of serious danger.  The EPA crisis with China early in the administration is a good example.  The decision to build international coalitions, including the Russians and the Chinese, in the wake of September 11th is another, at a much lesser level, the decision not to certify that North Korea's meeting is IAEA responsibilities, while at the same time, waiving the requirement so that Kyoto can proceed on track, is another evidence of the division between ideology and practicality.  Unlike Clinton, Bush has not yet confronted the consequences of a dangerous crisis with North Korea, or the possibility of a truly damaging rupture of the U.S.-South Korean alliance.  For that we can all be grateful.  If and when Bush confronts such realities, the relationships in and around the Korean Peninsula may revert to historical norms.  Or, they may go in a different direction.  As I have often said, Korea is a land of surprises.

               AKKW:        Thank you.  I am sure you will tell us later what those surprises are going to be.  I feel that we have done injustice to Don Oberdorfer’s presentation because historical narrative needs time and thinking, and it's the loving attention to details that makes narrative worth what it is.  We will regret, however, we must now come to the next speaker.  Professor Victor Cha, who teaches at Georgetown University.  Many of you will have read his Foreign Affairs article.  I am sure he will make reference to it in one way or another.  Because that's very much appropriate to the topic of discussion this morning.  Professor Cha.

               Victor Cha [VC]:    Thank you.  Let me just begin by saying, there was this, all this discussion in the beginning this morning about the play on words in the, and I just have to relate one story to you on the play on words on North Korea.  I did one of these radio call-in interview shows on National Public Radio shortly after the Axis of Evil Speech, for an hour, where people called in, and this one irate caller from Wisconsin called in, and said basically, "I don't understand how  George Bush can expect the North Koreans to want to engage with him.  I mean, he calls them evil.  And then later he calls some other things, and I don't understand why how anybody should want to engage with anybody that calls them evil."  And my response to that, to that question was "Yes," that caller was a, "Yes, he did call them evil, but, has anybody been listening to what the North Koreans have been calling the United States for 50 years?  It's stuff you can't say on public radio."  I was asked to sort of relate what might be the American view on policy towards North Korea, and I just need to start out by saying, this is just one scholar's view on where I think this administration's going with regard to policy on North Korea.  And what motivated me to sort of look at this question was, that, to me, there was always this puzzle, when you looked at the Bush Administration's policy on North Korea.  On the one hand, rhetorically, and substantively, there's constant talk about openness to engagement, right, you're going to engage with the North any time, any place, without precondition, the one substantive policy where that's dundering the administration ends up favoring engagement, yet, the same time, as many of you have done, if you talk to any of the highly placed individuals in this administration, or you've interacted with them before when they were outside of government on issues with regard to North Korea, they are highly skeptical, right, of many of the propositions, the fundamental propositions that lie behind, you know, an engagement policy or the Sunshine Policy.  So, trying to reconcile these two things was, for me, as an academic, a puzzle.  And, where I came out on this is what you saw, what some of you have seen in the foreign affairs article.  Basically, what I think the policy of the administration is, in relation to Sunshine policy, is that, I think they generally agree on engagement, as sort of a short term and pragmatic strategy with regard to North Korea.  Where I think they disagree with the Sunshine policy is, they disagree in terms of the rationale for engaging with North Korea.  And they also disagree on what, perhaps, is the ultimate end game of engagement, and, you know, these are not small differences.  The best way of illustrating this is probably to start out by explaining what I think are the basic assumptions behind the South Korean Sunshine Policy, or any basic engagement policy.  And I think, you know, applying this to North Korea, this sort of standard rationale for engaging North Korea goes something like this: North Korea’s threatening behavior derives from its insecurity.  It's bankrupt.  It's starving.  It's isolated.  So it seeks ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons as the best path to security.  In this sense, engagement's purpose is to try to make the North Koreans feel more secure and get them to trade a path of reform for an end to the proliferation threat.  Right?  That's the basic sort of rationale behind engagement.  I think where this administration is going in terms of their own, what I've called hawk engagement policy, differs from this, what I've just laid out to you as the fundamental rationale for Sunshine Policy in a couple of ways.  The first is that Hawks would want to engage North Korea, not because they think the regime is insecure, but they want to engage North Korea because they want to neutralize North Korea's coercive bargaining behavior.  Basically, the idea here is that the primary threat from North Korea has been deterred.  That is a second engaging.  But the secondary threat that the North has always posed is that they've engaged in this coercive bargaining behavior.  They basically undertake these provocations for the purpose of creating a crisis, a crisis that's not likely to start a war, but a crisis that's big enough to force the South Koreans and the Americans and the Japanese into some sort of negotiation.  And the ultimate objective of this is, you have to negotiate down from, or if you're a North Korean, you want to negotiate down from that crisis more to your advantage.  What enables the North to do this?  Basically because they’ve very little stake in the status quo.  All right?  You don't have anything, and you have no stake in the status quo, you're much more likely to leverage it.  So, from a hawk's perspective, one of the first purposes of engagement is you want to neutralize that sort of behavior, by engaging them just a little bit, to give them a stake in the status quo, such that they won't leverage it like they have in the past.  A second reason I think hawks would want to engage North Korea is that if a standard model of engagement sees engagement as the best way to gain a window on the North's intentions, hawks want to engage North Korea because it's the best practical way to build a coalition for punishment later on.  Right?  In a similar vein, engagement makes threats to punish later on more credible, like the notion being that, again, with a country that has very little stake in the status quo, providing them carrots offers the best opportunity to use these things as sticks later on, to try to influence behavior.  The notion of keeping a half century economic embargo on North Korea, and then expecting that that's going to change behavior, that doesn't make a lot of sense, that's sort of like kicking a dead horse, and telling it to get up.  But if you lift some of the sanctions, let them gain what they can from it, and then hold the reinstatement sanctions later on, that's a much more effective stick.  So there's sort of the second principle that today's carrots can be tomorrow's sticks.  Third, I think hawk engagemencies, engagement as a humanitarian policy, but not humanitarian for the reasons put forth by the NGO community.  The NGO community generally sees engagement as a necessary evil.  This is what you need to do to keep help the North Korean people, even though it keeps the regime afloat.  I would argue that hawks see engagement in a humanitarian sense, in that it helps the people of North Korea by hastening the regime's demise, in trying to change the images of South Koreans, Japanese and Americans in North, in the North Korean popular, in the North Korean public opinion.  In short, sort of, the more bags of rice that you have, the wheat and flour are floating around North Korea that say "U.S.A., G-O-J-R-O-K," the more you start a process of unraveling half a century of negative indoctrination of Americans, South Koreans, and Japanese in Korean eyes.  Okay. Let me just skip now, because we don't have much time for the implications of this argument, if you accept any part of it, and I think there basically, there are three implications that I want to touch on.  The first is that if, the first has to do with time.  If one believes hawk engagement, then one could argue that if the United States starts a process of dialog with the North, there's going to be a greater premium placed on speeding up that engagement process.  And again, this has to do with the way you view time.  If you're the Sunshine Policy, the argument has always been, if you're the Sunshine Policy, time is on your side.  Because the idea's that you're trying to transform the North, so, you just keep throwing carrots at them, right, and then over time, you're going to get a change in behavior.  So time is on your side.  From a hawk engagement perspective, that's not what you think is going to happen.  Right.  You think that basically the purpose of engagement is to out the regimes’s unchanged intentions.  And if that's the case, time is not on your side.  President Bush said, in the State of the Union Address, time is not on our side when it comes to something like that.  Second, I think that the level of tolerance for North Korean brinkmanship behavior that we've seen in the past, that this is pretty intuitive for a hawk engagement model, is going to be very low.  In other words, if there are two calves that the Perry process laid out, a cooperative one and a coercive one, any bad North Korean behavior is going to cause a hawk regime, or a hawk model to shift to the alternative path with much greater alacrity.  Third implication, I think, is that there are real perception gaps between the United States and South Korea, after the Axis of Evil Speech, with regard to North Korean behavior, and these gaps are only growing larger.  This may not sound particularly revolutionary to those of you in the audience who have been looking at U.S.-Korea relations for a long time, but I think this is different.  In the sense that, after the Axis of Evil Speech, we're in a situation, now, that everything positive that the North does, is confirming two separate views on what works with regard to North Korea, in Washington, and in Seoul.  And everything that the North does that's positive continues to confirm these two views, and they grow further and further apart.  A good example of this is the Limdel One(?) visit.  Which, you know, began a process, or restarted a process of dialog between the United States, North Korea, between the North and South.  If one asks a supporter of Sunshine Policy why that visit was somewhat successful, the response that you will always get is that this was this is a validation of Sunshine Policy, right, because we continue to engage with North Korea, eventually they come around.  So it validates the basic principles of Sunshine Policy.  If you ask someone in the Bush administration, you know, why that visit happened to work, their response is the complete opposite.  This doesn't validate Sunshine Policy, this validates the notion that pressure works.  If you call the regime evil, if you don't have dialog with them eventually they're going to come around.  So the point is, is that the more the North does that's positive, it's confirming these two separate viewpoints.  What this empire is known as, is motivated by us, it's confirming these two separate viewpoints, and they only grow wider and wider, even though the two sides say they're on the same page.  Fourth and last point, and this is more of a point about what we heard a lot when we were in Korea, a bunch of us went to Seoul in late May, and met with a whole group of people.  The constant refrain you hear in South Korea is about how the Bush Administration's policies are responsible for a breakdown in North-South dialog, it undercuts the Sunshine Policy, and this just reconfirms how much the United States is against unification.  And I think that's wrong on two counts.  One, it's wrong, factually, right, in the sense that North-South dialogue started having a lot of problems way before the Bush Administration even came into office, right, so that's the, factual one, and it's wrong conceptually, in the sense that the ultimate irony of this hawk engagement policy, if this is what the Administration is pursuing, is that one could argue that this is the first American policy, historically, that is explicitly about unification of the peninsula.  And one could argue, this is arguable, that it's the Sunshine Policy, really, that is not about unifications.  It's the Sunshine Policy that's really about peaceful co-existence.  So, in many ways, the tables have been turned.  We're seeing the mirror image of what has been the dominant characterization and criticism of U.S. policy for the Korean Peninsula.  Thank you.

               AKKW:        Thank you.  And my apologies for not being able to give you more time.  Obviously, to explain this concept that seems so self-contradictory.  Namely, hawk engagement.  It requires time.  But I'm sure you will have an opportunity to come back to this later on.  Next, I am going to introduce Professor Yoon Young Kwan, who teaches political science at Korea’s Seoul National University.  Korea University's where I am.  Professor Yoon happens to be a product of SAIS, so this is something of a home coming.  Professor Yoon.

               Yoon Young Kwan [YYK]:        Thank you Ambassador Kim.  It is my great privilege to have this valuable opportunity to talk about the Sunshine Policy before the distinguished audience.  I'm grateful to the organizers of this conference.  Before I make my presentation, I would like to confess one thing.  Nowadays, people like me, who support Sunshine Policy, feel like they are endangered species.  (Laughs)  More and more people tend to favor hawk kind of confrontational approach based on military power politics.  But still, I believe that the engagement policy, or the Sunshine Policy, provides a better opportunity for success in the future.  Let me explain why I think that way.  First, I think the nature of the North Korea problem has changed since the beginning of the 1990s.  Then the cold war ended, and the Soviet Union collapsed.  Economic aids to North Korea almost stopped, and this negatively affected the economy in a serious manner.  This influenced every aspect of their domestic as well as foreign policy.  For example, because of these economic difficulties, they tend to think that the effectiveness of their conventional weapon system has been weakened very much, and they became, feel, I mean, they tend to feel more and more insecure, and that may be the reason why they continue to stick to the development of weapons of mass destruction.  So how to relieve from them the sense of insecurity, or insecurity complex is one of the most important factors which we have to consider when we form, try to form a North Korean policy.  What I'm saying here is, the nature of North Korea problem has become much more multi-dimensional than this post cold war period.  You cannot simply separate weapons of mass destruction issues from all the other dimensions of North Korea problems.  Economic difficulties, humanitarian problems, or national, their own national issues, etcetera, etcetera.  So that's why I am saying that we need a comprehensive and at the same time a functionalist approach to North Korea.  And in my view, one of the most important documents about North Korea policy was Amitidy(?) Report, which was written March, 1999.  Let me quote from that report a few sentences: "A successful approach to North Korea must be comprehensive, and integrated, and must address the totality of the security threat."  He is using the word "totality."  "The stakes involved should make Korea a matter of this, a matter of the highest priority for the President, and Washington should take an offer than Miss Tanyang's(?) legitimate economics, security and political concerns."  He also used the term  "legitimate."  "This would allow the United States to seize the diplomatic initiative as well as the moral and political high ground.  As a step by step road map to a more cooperative relationship.  Economic benefits beyond humanitarian aid should be phased in as North Korea implements reduction measures."  So I sincerely hope this approach, I mean, this approach will be realized, and adopted as the U.S. policy toward North Korea, sooner than later.  There are four major reasons why I think this Sunshine Policy or engagement approach is better than the other coercive confrontational approach.  First, there are hidden risks of coercive approach.  It seems to me that nowadays, there are some policy makers who tend to be too confident about their capability to control the crisis situation in international politics.  But sometimes there are confrontational situations in which major policy makers can not influence the way the confrontation develops.  Let me quote from Don Oberdorfer from his excellent book, I mean Two Koreas, here..."For Robert Gallucci, the spring of 1994 had an eery and disturbing resemblance to historian Barbara Tungman's(?) account of "the guns of Oberstrom code," when in the summer of 1914, World War I began in Cross poposis(?) misunderstanding, and inadvertence."  As he and other policy makers moved inexorably toward the confrontation with North Korea, Gallucci was conscious that "this had an escalating quality that could deteriorate not only into a war but into a big war."  Secretary of Defense William Perry, looking back on the events concluded that the course he was on, "Had a real risk of war associated with it."  Commanders in the field were even more convinced.  Lieutenant General Howard S. Bacini, a U.S. Air Force officer in Korea recalled later than although neither he nor other commanders said so out loud, not even in private conversations with one another, "Inside, we all thought we were going to war."  I don't know why we should take this kind of course of approach which has these kinds of dangers behind it.  I think the Sunshine Policy in combination with a strong militarily defensive posture is much more rational policy that course of confrontational policy, because we cannot exclude this kind of, includes the possibility of this danger, from this approach.  There is another reason why I tend to favor the Sunshine Policy, or engagement policy.  As Victor has already explained, the Sunshine, though the Sunshine Policy we can increase the degree of interdependence between the United States and North Korea, also between North and South Korea.  And this kind of interdependent relationship can be used as a tool to influence their external as well as domestic…in the future.  One of the main problems that we have nowadays is the lack of interdependent relationship between the United States and North Korea and between North and South Korea.  We don't have that much leverage to influence their behavior, so, why don't we try to build more interdependent relationship?  Another positive impact, political impact of economic engagement is already explained by Victor.  I mean, if once huge amounts of capital flows in to a totalitarian society begins to circulate within that society, there will be increased interpersonal contacts or interactions and increased flow of information.  This means political authorities will have harder time in controlling the minds of their people.  So there will be, they will have to provide more freedom to their own people.  And this will result in a change of their political system from a medium and long term perspective, not from a short term perspective.  Also, there are some historical examples of successful economic engagement.  Of course, European integration is one of the most salient examples of this success.  In the late 1940s, European coal and steel community was initiated as a tool to stabilize a peaceful relationship between two big rivals in European history, France and Germany.  And I think they both achieved the goal of peace, and economic prosperity as well.  Some of you may say that no, this is different from North Korea case.  These two countries were democratic countries.  Then what about the Hong Kong Shangchen(?) model, which is a successful story of integrating two different economic systems?  Why don't we try that model to South Korea and North Korea?  In trying to integrate Kasung(?) City to Seoul City?  There are the examples like Taiwan - China relations.  I mean, their active commercial interactions have been also, have been contributing to peaceful relationship or improvement of their political relationship.  And actually a statement, I mean Secretary of State Powell mentioned about this in his Asia society speech the other day.  So, I think there are two kinds of examples.  Another reason why had better follow this model is, this approach of engagement policy is that, this is the right time to apply that approach.  Functionalist approach, or engagement approach can not work any time in any place.  But we were provided a special opportunity for us to apply this because North Korea nowadays is much more ready to respond positively to this kind of approach, simply because of the economic difficulty.  When one country's economic size has been reduced by half, I think, I cannot imagine any country in which this kind of radical change can not affect all the other aspects of their policy making, domestic as well as international.  So I think this is the right time for us to apply a functionalist engagement policy.  Finally, let me make two observations about U.S. policy towards North Korea.  First, I would like to recommend that there would be more subtlety and flexibility in U.S. policy toward North Korea.  It sounded a little too much moralistic.   Sometimes it has some positive political impact, but at the same time, it has negative impact.  Let me quote one scholar's observation about a similar situation, similar points.  There is a guy whose name is Michael Doyle who warned against the danger of liberal policy towards non-liberal societies, "In relations with powerful states of non-liberal character, liberal policy has been characterized by repeated failures of diplomacy.  It has often raised conflicts of interest into crusades.  It has failed to negotiate stable mutual accommodations of interest."  I think this kind of observation has some significant implication for U.S. approach to North Korea, too.  Finally, I'd like to recommend to U.S. government to take a bold initiative toward North Korea, as the Nixon Administration did in the 1970s toward China.  It was only after the Nixon Administration took bold diplomatic initiatives toward China that Chinese leaders could concentrate on domestic reform.  And could follow the direction that Americans, most Americans wanted them to follow. So I think this right time to take the bold initiative, bold diplomatic initiative, and try to reduce their feeling of insecurity complex, which causes many problems.  Thank you very much.

               AKKW:        Thank you.  It was a very eloquent plea for  Sunshine Policy.  Next we are going to hear a South Korean government official give his personal view, assuming that official has a personal view of the Sunshine policy.  Mr. Kim Wook is now currently Deputy Assistant Secretary for North Korean Affairs.  He has served now in Embassy in Washington. Mr. Kim.

               Kim Wook [KW]:   Thank you, Chairman.  I'm also very much honored to participate in this prestigious forum of CSIS, and I first wish to thank the three scholars for their informative, suggestive and a very educational presentation today.  As Chairman Kim already introduced, I am the only person which is not from academia in this session.  As Dr. Yoon(?) and Professor Larry made presentation to South Korean perspective on the engagement policy, academically, I think I better make a brief presentation on the achievement and implications of the engagement policy to lay the supplementary groundwork for discussions today.  Korean government has tried a containment policy for over forty years without having achieved much substantive progress and does, based on this experience, that Korean administration decided to adopt the engagement policy, dubbed as the Sunshine Policy, and this policy has proven to be the most realistic approach toward North Korea.  Of course, an engagement policy had been tried by previous South Korean administration as well, however, President Kyun Dae Chung(?) has far more proactively and consistently promoted this policy with a view to bringing about a reconciliation and cooperation between the South and North, and as you are well aware this engagement policy, simply put, seeks to deter another wound of Korean Peninsula while aiming to promote peace, increase interdependence, and implement arms control. Although the inter-Korean interchanges and contacts are very slow at the moment, the engagement policy has so far made remarkable progress in a wide ranging favors(?), in spite of some criticism from both home and abroad.  Following the inter-Korean summit in June 2000, there have been over 30 official meetings held between the South and North, including several rounds of ministerial talks.  The civilian exchanges and cooperation in sports, religion and culture and, you name it, all are promoted, contributed to promoting notable improvement between the South and North Korea.  Between 1998 and 2001, over 25 non-tourist South Korean…not to mention 450,000 South Korean tourists to Maintain Kin Gong(?).  At the moment, about 150 South Korean companies are either in operation in North Korea or seeking to set up joint ventures with North Korea.  So, about some 800 South Koreans are currently staying in the North, in this endeavor.  In other front, military tension has decreased as well.  Armed provocation has ceased, following the successful demonstration of deterrence by the South in the Western Sea, in June, 1999.  South and North Korea have also stopped broadcasting slanderous and improper messages against each other at the DMZ.  North Korea also made significant progress in foreign relations, now, maintains 13 European member countries, only except France and Holland, and also in terms of trade, between the two Koreas, the trade volume increased to about $400 million last year, and this amount is very significant, you know, considering the total trade volume of North Korea is only less than $2 billion a year.  Among others, most is South Korean people to feel that nowadays should, you know, the tension on the Peninsula has been noticeably dissipated on the Korean Peninsula.  So, this in turn has induced greater foreign investment to South Korean, helping Korea to overcome its economy crisis.  This can be clearly illustrated by comparing the foreign investment to South Korea for the year four years, under Kim’s administration, which amount to $52 billion, with the total foreign investment up to that point, $24 billion, it's more than doubled during the last four years.  Well, in view of the half century of separation and conflict, as well as stock differences in the two respective systems, it is clear that implementing the reconciliation and cooperation between the two Koreas is extremely challenging, and the Korean government has focused on problems and issues that can be easily agreed by the North while setting aside interactive issues for future consideration, you know, a gradual and step by step approach.  More over, we are putting emphasis on mutual exchanges and joint projects in order to make progress in such humanitarian issues as reunion of separate families and food aid, while endeavoring to get started on military CBMs.  The Korean government has placed top priority in preventing tension on the Korean tension from escalating to a military clash.  Because a military clash, I mean, military conflicts will only mean terrible sacrifice and mutual destruction.  Therefore, problems involving North Korea must be resolved through dialogue.  In this regard we will respond with patience and consistency.  Of course, you know, from our pestilence with North Korea, we understand that they will be temporarily stagnations or ups and downs as we promote conciliation and cooperation with North Korea.  However, I am confident that progress continues to be made in the future.  And so, in view of the other policy options, for instance, well, I know hawk engagement, as Victor Cha already mentioned and explained, and the non-neglect or co-engagement, what you say, and the security surround, security situation surrounding Korean Peninsula, I'm also confident that engagement policy will continue to be pursued regardless of who may win the forthcoming presidential election, this December, always with subtle difference and nuances, let me stop here.

               AKKW:        Thank you.  Looking at the panel, I have just discovered that we have not included one presentation that we needed very much.  The presentations still with South Korean and U.S. perspectives.  We need to hear what the North Korean perspective is.  Because then, that's going to be the decisive factor in the Korean Peninsula.  But I am not an expert on North Korea, so I will not try to give a presentation on what the North Korean perspective is.  Let me simply point out that until North Koreans begin to respond more actively following our President's present speech in Berlin, before the summit, and in the process started then through evolve introduction of setting up that summit two years ago, North Korean reaction to these expressions, Sunshine Policy, have been quite negative.  Because the Sunshine Policy, the first two, one of the fables of  Aesop, in which the wind and the sun compete, to see which one can get the man out in the field to take off his heavy overcoat first, the North Koreans saw this as disarming North Korean.  Therefore they interpreted this concept of Sunshine Policy as one in which the intention is to disrobe them, to disarm them through gifts and economic assistance.  But, the offer of economic assistance was apparently too attractive for them to reject, out of hand, and therefore they decided at least tactically to see what we can offer them, and most recently they have now taken the position that because of, without quoting administrates, supposed to have told the… this reminds us of the visitors from Korea to be, how to be careful of what we say here.  North Koreans have used controlling, saying that they, that makes it impossible for them to continue the dialogue with South Korea.  Interestingly enough let us not affect here, but…talk to in Washington.  We have a curious situation in which the roles have been somewhat reversed, not by ourselves, but by North Korea.  But I will not go into this.  I'm ready to open up the floor.  You can raise your hand, I will not be able to recognize you by name, but I will somehow indicate by my body language what I have in mind.  Yes?

               M:                 You can wait, or you can start.  Yes.

               M:                 I think we have to be patient.  We cannot ask them to change your domestic system, quickly.  I think that means we are ask them to give in and capitulate before us. And, I don't know whether they are really willing to do, to comply that kind of addressed from our side.  And there was some significant change in the economy, I think, the rise of informal market, domestic, in domestic sector of North Korea is one of them.  I had a chance to visit Kung Yang(?) last summer, as a member of a group who was supporting North Koreans by sending some food and clothes.   And at that time, I recognized a North Korean counting some money, something like money, and actually is was a dollar, their economy has become much more dollarized, and it has very important implication for their own economy, for the nature of their economy, and this kind of qualitative change in the economy is growing on gradually.  But this kind of change has not affected much, attracted much attention from the U.S. policy makers as well as U.S. mass media.  I think that's very important change.  Even though they are announcing they, we changed the economic system, (Inaudible) theories that kind of changes going on.

               Q:                 (Inaudible Portion)

               AKKW:        I don't think any of us on this panel is in a position to respond to that question at this time, if you will understand.  Yes, yes.  In the...

               Q:                 (Inaudible Portion)

               AKKW:        I want the panelists to think about it while we go into the next comment from the audience, and then respond.  Yes.

               Q:                 (Inaudible Portion)

               AKKW:        Another heavy question.  (Laughter)  So as the Chair, I would like to give the analysts a little more time to gather their comments.  We will have another comment from the floor, and then I will ask our panelists to give the questions.  Yes.

               Q:                 (Inaudible Portion)

               AKKW:        Another heavy question.  (Laughter)  You have all heard the questions, so I will not repeat it. Many of you is thinking (Inaudible Portion) at this time.  Would you like to?

               M:                 I've never turned down the past few opportunities to say something, however unenlightened it might be.  Well, Larry, yes, they're new and they're not new.  I mean, these are all issues that have been around before, it's not as though they came out of nowhere.  The question of proliferation was very serious addressed by the Clinton Administration, and it was on the verge of an agreement from North Korea to stop selling missiles overseas, when the end of the Clinton Administration came, and that negotiation was not completed.  You can argue, we don't know whether it would have succeeded, but at least, the Clinton people were finally talking to the right guy.  Kim Jung Yo(?).  Who could make decisions about that, and who was suggested that he was prepared to do so.  Whether he really was, we don't know.  And as for the human rights and refugee issues, it's not that they're new, they have been definitely given new emphasis.  I think it's a kind of a guerilla theater that's going on in China right now, and it reminds me a little bit about, of the anti-war guerilla theater in the United States.  There are some people out there who very sincerely feel that the way the refugees and escapees from North Korea have been handled is wrong, and frankly, they want to bring down the North Korean Regime, and see, this is a means of doing so.  Whether it will succeed, I rather doubt, but, it is getting a lot of attention, and it is calculated to make the front pages and especially make the television reports, the fact that they brought in cameras to record what happens if people try to jump into these embassies suggests this is not an entirely spontaneous event.  So it is difficult to deal with, and it's going to be a problem, but I don't think it's completely new, either.  Certainly it has a new emphasis. As Paul Chamberlain said, we've got a number of serious issues with North Korea coming up.  How to demilitarize North Korea?  Hell's bells, nobody knows how to do that, they've been trying to do it for a half a century, now.  But I think it's pretty clear that the way not to do it, it's not going to wait, work to threaten them.  That's not a way to get them to demilitarize.  U.S. cannot dictate as much as it would like, what North Korea does with its military forces.  It's interesting that the current administration, the Bush Administration has put more emphasis on conventional forces, which is clearly an important issue, but, I don't know that it's prepared to face the necessary compromises on the U.S. and R.O.K. side of, say, pull-backs in the DMZ, or other issues which cannot be one sided.  And as for Jay's question, Jay Arm's(?) question about public discussion of replacing Kim Dong Yo….beneficial, I guess it means, beneficial to whom?  I don't think it's going to be beneficial to policy, and I don't think that some of the rhetoric that has been used, officially, is very beneficial, either, if you're going to have serious negotiations, but that may not be what the Administration has in mind. 

               A:                 On the ... I'm going to answer your question with a question.  On the humanitarian issue, someone, was it Larry?  Or someone asked that, what does this mean to U.S.-North Korean relations?  The refugee issue.  I don't think it means anything for U.S.-North Korean relations.  Because I don't think anything the United States can do is going to change the way the North Korean government deals with, you know, people fleeing the country.  I mean, where this really becomes an issue is, in U.S.-South Korean relations.  South Korea-China relations, and particularly the South Korean government, so, there are a lot of South Korean government officials here.  I'd like to let the South Korean government's perspective on the humanitarian issue of...second, on replacing Kim, the Kim Dung Yo(?) regime, I've always been of the view that, even if you replaced Kim Dung Yo(?), the regime itself would not change very much.  I mean, the whole structure of North Korea is such that even if you replaced Kim Dung Yo(?) with somebody else, who wasn't even a part of the whole Kim family, given the structure of the system, given the entire nature of the polity and the state the way it is, the likelihood that that leadership change would result in some sort of regime changing or regime transition, I think is highly unlikely.  I think, if this regime were to ever go, it's going to go the way of people exiting.  As we're seeing, sort of traces of it now.  I mean, this is the way the regime would actually go, it wouldn't go by some sort of leadership change at the top.  I think that the point about September 11th is a very important one, and it was only amplified by my boss last night, Bob Gallucci's keynote dinner speech, in the sense that, if you sort of look at the expressions of how U.S. strategic thinking and doctrine have changes as a result of September 11th, get more and more statements about the premium placed on the right to reserve the use of offense.  Offense is a very important part of U.S. doctrine of strategic thinking, because many of the threats that became much more clear after September 11th are not easily deterrable.  And they're not easily defendable.  It's a different type of threat. How does that factor into U.S. policy towards North Korea?  I mean, I think all of us are not clear yet, on how it factors into U.S. policy with regard to the North.  On the one hand, one could argue that, you know, even though the President makes the statement in a speech at West Point about how there's a premium placed on offensive capabilities, you know, on the one hand, one can imagine that this affects U.S.-North Korea relations by just reinforcing the North's desire and determination to maintain some form of credible deterrent, like some form of ability, WMB ability to retaliate such that the United States might be deterred from some sort of offensive action against the North.  On the other hand, one could also argue that the existence, or the salience of this new piece of the way the United States thinks about, in terms of American strategic thinking, and the dangers it potentially poses to North Korea, could actually make more credible a U.S. engagement strategy, right?  I mean, engagement is always most credible as Ambassador…said last night, it's most credible when it's a position taken by the strong.  If I'm strong, and I say I can engage or I can attack you, but I choose to engage you, that's a much more credible policy to the target state.  And I don't think any of us are clear in terms of how this is going to affect U.S. policy toward North Korea, but I would agree with Larry, and with Gallucci last night, that it has become a much more important component, or variable, as we think about the U.S. - D.P.I.K(?) relationship.

               M:                 Thank you. Let me briefly comment on these issues, like terrorism, the refugee issue and rice, and that demilitarization of North Korea.  On the issue of terrorism, I think, I don't agree much with the argument that North Korea belongs to the same cartel with Iran and Iraq.  I have, and I would say that it is better for us to differentiate North Korea from that cartel in one way or another, and probably North Korea, if they were classified as one of terrorist countries, it is better for us to take North Korea from that category and, try to resolve the North Korea problem from a diplomatic perspective, and there will be much higher possibility for success compared to other countries.  And, probably the U.S., the Bush Administration may need to have a kind of success story of diplomacy by the time of presidential election in 2004.  So why don't you pick North Korea, and to, I mean, with relatively less cost, I think there will be higher possibility for success of solving this issue from, with diplomacy.  With a diplomatic effort.  Regarding the issue of refugee and human rights, I think the whole purpose of the Sunshine policy is to improve the human rights of North Koreans from a medium and long term perspective.  By helping them to economically prosper.  And the human rights and the refugee issue is one about improving human rights of North Korea from a short term perspective, and these two goals contradict each other in some sense.  We cannot, I think, have a solve, we cannot solve these issues at the same time, so, I think it is better policy for South Korean government to be, to take a lot of fire on this issue, especially because when we remember the way, how German unification was achieved, it began from the issue of refugee closed from East Germany to West Germany through a third country, so if we, I mean, if our government accept that kind of approach, is total denial of Sunshine Policy.  Lastly, I mean, about the issue of demilitarizing North Korea, I think, again, it is important for the U.S. government and neighboring countries to provide some kind of favorable external environment, so that they could concentrate on economic development instead of militarizing, trying to militarize their own society.  I think that's one thing we can do, to demilitarize North Korea.

               M:                 Thank you. 

               M:                 I would just…with regard to North Korean refugee issue.  Well, this issue's getting tougher and tougher, so, and many angles…on human right entities that's in Korea are claiming more, I mean, forthcoming and then positive, and majors I know to tackle this issue and by the Korean government, but, so far, Korean government believes that quiet policy, as, you know….nation, is the most, I mean, proving to be the most effective policy to deal with dismissal(?), even though we are in the process of considering, in many ways, to tackle issue, to tackle this issues on humanitarian point of view, and other aspect.

               M:                 … glad to hear that the Korean government has plans.  Yes.

               M:                 I'd like to make this one comment, and that is, I think what one very fundamental thing that's changed, in North Korea since the clash with the Soviet…and Vernon's speech sort of played into that was the demise of the external support from Moscow. North Korea has become now an aid based state.  Basically, a very large proportion of the resources which it can provide to its people are coming from external aid.  The problem is, there is a great deal of so-called donor fatigue at the moment.  People are tired of doing it, with the current food situation is, the international agency of the U.N. that handles the food, world food program, has reduced the amount that it's trying to raise this year, but it can't get even that.  The only two substantial donors are, surprisingly, the United States of America, which has just agreed to provide, the Bush Administration just agreed to provide 100,000 more tons of food to North Korea on top of 50,000 it had previously agreed, making it the biggest single donor.  South Korea's right behind, like around 100,000, I think.  But nobody else is even in the game.  So they've got a very serious problem, how they choose to deal with it, I don't know, but, I don't think that the imperatives which grow them to do what they did, two years ago, today, having Kim Dae Jung(?) come up, and sort of opening themselves diplomatically, not internally but diplomatically, the rest of the world, I don't think those imperatives have changed.  And how they're going to deal with them, I don't know, in what is a changing situation about the capability of willingness of other countries to support them.

               M:                 Since we are on the theme of economics, I don't have a direct response to the larger iron silk road project, but, on the question of economics, in the policy towards North Korea, I mean, I think we need to, we always have to be careful, because we have to break this down.  We have to unpack this.  Because there are really two aspects of it.  On the one hand, there's economics, and the way it affects, or economic engagement, and the way it affects the quote-unquote human rights problem, you know, the extent to which it might dampen down the push of refugees North, or the extent to which it might, as Professor Yin(?) says, sort of improve the standard of living for North Koreans.  That's one issue.  And I don't think there's much debate on that issue.  Like the bigger debate, or the big question is, the economic engagement and how that affects larger North Korean security behavior.  And this is the part that's always been problematic and controversial, because, as Professor Yoon and others proponents of Sunshine have stated, they see the economics, this economic engagement as being one of the things that will really affect larger North Korean political and security behavior.  Like the notion that, if you, part of the reason the North is threatening is because of their economic problem.  And, one could certainly understand that aspect to the argument.  The part that's always been troubling to me is history.  In the sense that, if you look back, and Ambassador Gleysteen or Ambassador Walker, or others who know this, lived it more that I, you try to think when the North was most threatening is when it was the most economically vibrant.  Economically strong relative to the South, so, I've always had, I've always, have never been fully convinced on sort of the economic argument, in the largest strategic behavior of North Korea.  I certainly understand the argument with regards to human rights, and with regard to the well being of the North Korean people, but I've, I need someone to explain to me this second part of the argument.

               M:                 Yes.  There is no doubt in my mind that the tension, the level of tension on the peninsula has gone down.  And this is the… of the government apparently.  And we are able to have this happen, football matches and so, partly because of the reduced nature of the threat of North Korea.  But, what we do not know is the answer to the analytical question, to what we owe this reduction of tension?  There are those who claim that it is the Sunshine Policy that has brought down the tension, there are also those who will argue that it's the collapse of the Communism throughout the world.  And the disappearance of the support for North Korea has…from the Soviet Union and China, that is creating this situation of reduced tension.  And third answer that is often referred to is, it's the economy.  It's the economic downturn, it's economical collapse of the...

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