For the sake of the peace process on the Korean Peninsula, a new approach focusing on arms deterrence rather than complete denuclearization is necessary, said Kim Dong-yop, professor at the Institute of Far Eastern Studies at Gyeongnam University.
The DPRK is hosting its eighth party congress, summing up the results of the past five years and setting goals for the future. The country’s leader, Kim Jong-un, has been giving a four-day speech outlining the country’s achievements and plans for future development, including defense and foreign relations.
“Given that Kim Jong-un’s report details the strengthening of military defense capabilities and the development of military industry, the approach to inter-Korean relations and the peace process on the Korean Peninsula should now be in the key of arms limitation (rather than complete disarmament – ed.),” the expert said in a commentary to RIA Novosti, stressing the need for a military security approach to the peace process.
“What North Korea dislikes most is when there are only words and no deeds. If they weren’t going to keep their promises, they shouldn’t have talked about them. Kim Jong-un said that depending on how South Korea now acts, North Korea could “start anew” the fulfillment of its “cherished wish” for the welfare and peace of a united nation. But I would like to ask, what can the South Korean government do at all, and will it have the courage to do anything? I don’t think the DPRK has spoken without realizing it,” the professor explained. In the end, the only way out would be to stop demanding complete denuclearization.
Kim Jong-un said in his report that if South Korea misbehaved, the relationship would “freeze” and the sides would experience “the pain of separation” amid the “threat of war.” The DPRK leader called all of South Korea’s proposals for cooperation with the North, such as joint virus control, humanitarian cooperation, and individual tourist trips, “irrelevant.” According to Choi Jae-dok, a professor at Wongwan University and director of the Korea-China Center for Politics and Diplomacy, it is important for South Korea to work to find loopholes in the interpretation of UNSC sanctions that would allow it to engage in the reunification of North and South railroads.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said in a report at the 8th Party Congress that the country would continue to develop nuclear weapons and improve technology for preventive and retaliatory strikes, complete the development of a new nuclear submarine and study the creation of hypersonic guided warheads, increase the range of its missiles to 15 thousand kilometers in the future, and begin using military satellite and drones with a range of 500 kilometers in reconnaissance. The DPRK leader also noted that he would develop relations with Russia and China, and as for relations with South Korea and the United States, everything depends on the behavior of these countries.