Korean Contradiction

November 26, 2006

North Korea’s regime is revealing more signs of weakness. After signing a deal for food aid from the International Red Cross two days ago, a North Korean official has made statements about the regime’s self-sufficiency in food.

An unnamed official spoke with South Korea’s YONHAP wire service and was quoted as saying, “We are fine. We can be self-sufficient,” when asked about the North’s food shortage. The official also criticized Seoul’s “attitude” toward the North.

While this is not an official statement from the government — unnamed sources often have their own agendas — it does seem to go in line with regime thinking in that it denies any internal problems. It also confirms that food shortage is an issue; if it weren’t, it would not be mentioned. The official’s interview with YONHAP is an indication that there are domestic weaknesses in North Korea and that the regime’s current way of dealing with it, will be criticizing South Korea. There are no more nuclear tests to be carried out. For now. Because the regime needs the financial sanctions against it lifted, and that requires a return to the six-party negotiations on North Korea’s nuclear program.

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