<Background and Purpose>
Analyzing North Korean Perspectives on Policy towards South Korea, post-Hanoi.
◎ After the Hanoi Summit, Pyongyang has been refusing to take part in talks with Seoul.
◎ It is thus important to analyze the policy implications of such an uncooperative and belligerent stance of North Korea.
－ Analysis of the North Korean regime’s perceptions of the value of improving inter-Korean relations and its mindset on the optimal strategy and tactics towards the South.
－ Understand implications for the likelihood of improved inter-Korean relations and Seoul’s strategy towards Pyongyang.
Analysis of North Korean regime’s belief systems about the South, and Policy Insights & Policy recommendations.
◎ Analysis of North Korean beliefs about South Korea and their policy implications.
－ Pyongyang has a very dim view of the value of improving relations with Seoul, and continues to believe that a strategy of conflict and risk-taking is the most optimal.
－ Pyongyang, however, also believes that the use of military force as a coercive method is highly ineffective.
－ Pyongyang is willing to risk deteriorations of inter-Korean relations if that means being able to achieve its own objectives. Thus, unless Seoul accedes to the key demands, it will be very difficult to swiftly improve inter-Korean relations.
◎ Recommendations for South Korea’s overall policy towards North Korea.
－ In the bigger picture, it may be possible to choose from maintaining the status quo, fully accepting Pyongyang’s key demands, or a tit-for-tat approach to North Korean confrontations.
－ Considering the pros and cons of each option, for now it would be best to maintain the current policy trajectory, yet be flexibly disposed to any changes in Pyongyang’s behavior.