North Korea made an unusual call to “all Koreans at home and abroad” to push for unification while urging the South to ditch its American ally.
North Korean state media said Thursday that the two Koreas should strive for improved bilateral relations and a “breakthrough” for independent Korean unification without the involvement of external forces. North Korea is calling “upon all Koreans with the strong will to make this auspicious year an eventful year noteworthy in the history of the nation.”
Pyongyang offered to “promote contact, travel, cooperation and exchange between the North and South on a wide scale to remove mutual misunderstanding and distrust.” The North asserted that the two sides should “bring down the barrier of national division.”
South Korean President Moon Jae-in has been a strong proponent of dialogue and engagement as solutions to the crisis on the Peninsula, but the North was unresponsive until North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un suddenly expressed an interest in talks in his New Year’s address earlier this month.
Since then, the two sides have re-opened dormant hotlines, met several times for talks at the border, and even sent delegations to visit the other in preparation for the upcoming Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
The South Korean government is optimistic, however, other observers are skeptical, asserting the North is manipulating the South, trying to drive a wedge between Washington and Seoul, as well as define itself as a normal nuclear state. Pyongyang has made numerous demands since the start of talks, strongly criticized the South Korean government for perceived slights, and, on several occasions, tilted its hand to reveal less-than-peaceful interests.
In the media report on the need for improved bilateral relations, North Korea said the Korean people should “smash” all those who would stand in the way of reunification or criticize the weapons programs of the North. The rogue country also slammed the U.S. for its “hostile acts and war moves aggravating the situation and wrecking peace!”
“Let all Koreans rise up in the peace-keeping struggle against war to baffle the reckless nuclear war moves of the U.S. which brings disaster to this land, setting dangerous flames!” the North’s propaganda read.
Reunification of the Korean Peninsula has long been an aspiration of the North; however, it should be noted that this is unification under North Korean leadership. The primary obstacle preventing North Korea from achieving its goals is and has been the U.S. military presence in the region.
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