- ‘Tis the Season: London florist creates $4.6 million Christmas wreath
- No tailgating allowed at Super Bowl XLVIII
- Pentagon to transport African troops to Central African Republic
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend’s shopping jumps to his death
- Ukraine leader to talk with protesters; Washington urges caution
- Pope Francis: A nun saved my life
- Israeli P.M. Netanyahu backs out of Mandela funeral
- Elian Gonzalez makes first trip outside Cuba since custody battle
- U.S., British intelligence agents enter online sci-fi world to spy on gamers
- Sarah Palin to host the outdoors show ‘Amazing America’
Park faces uncertainty with N. Korea
Pyongyang likely to challenge her
Pyongyang, however, may be in no mood to talk anytime soon.
Ms. Park’s declarations ahead of Wednesday’s election that she would soften five years of hard-line policy rang true with voters even as they rejected her opponent’s calls for a more aggressive pursuit of reconciliation with the North.
She is both a leading member of the conservative ruling party and the daughter of the late anti-communist dictator Park Chung-hee, and Pyongyang repeatedly has called her dialogue offers “tricks.”
Outgoing President Lee Myung-bak’s tough approach on North Korea — including his demand that engagement be accompanied by nuclear-disarmament progress — has been deemed a failure by many South Koreans.
During his five years in office, North Korea has conducted nuclear and rocket tests — including a rocket launch last week — and it was blamed for two incidents that left 50 South Koreans dead in 2010.
But reaching out to North Korea’s authoritarian government also has failed to pay off.
Before Mr. Lee, landmark summits under a decade of liberal governments resulted in lofty statements and photo opportunities in Pyongyang between then-leader Kim Jong-il and South Korean presidents, but the North continued to develop its nuclear weapons, which it sees as necessary defense and leverage against Washington and Seoul.
Analysts said Ms. Park’s vague promises of aid and engagement are not likely to be enough to push Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons ambitions, which Washington and Seoul have demanded for true reconciliation to begin.
To reverse the antipathy North Korea has shown her so far, Ms. Park may need to go further than either her deeply conservative supporters and political allies or a cautious Obama administration will want.
“North Korea is good at applying pressure during South Korean transitions” after presidential elections, said Yoo Ho-yeol, a professor at Korea University in South Korea. “North Korea will do something to try to test, and tame, Park.”
Even the last liberal president, Roh Moo-hyun, a champion of no-strings-attached aid to Pyongyang, faced a North Korean short-range missile launch on the eve of his 2003 inauguration.
North Korea put its first satellite into space with last week’s rocket launch, which the United Nations and others called a cover for a test of banned ballistic missile technology.
Despite the launch, Ms. Park says humanitarian aid, including food, medicine and daily goods meant for infants, the sick and other vulnerable people, will flow. She says none of the aid will be anything North Korea’s military could use. She says she’s open to conditional talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
By Tom Fitton
New photos confirm the attack's coordination and its cover-up
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- Lawmakers see 'false narrative' of Obama as a terrorist fighter
- CURL: Obama tells a whopper on IRS scandal
- Ted Cruz sees legal landmines ahead for Obamacare
- WOLF: The president's other Obamacare lies
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- MSNBC host: Obamacare a 'wealthy white men' racist word
- Israeli P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu backs out of Nelson Mandela funeral
- MILLER: Brady Campaign says Colorado recalls due to NRA, not grassroots opposition to gun control
- Satanists petition for statue at Oklahoma Statehouse
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Richard Ivory, editor-in-chief of Hip Hop Republicans and HHR at Communities Digital News, turns his interests, and pen, to the people making news today.
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
The world impacts us. What happens in our towns, cities, states, country and on this planet makes a difference to us.
Happiness is attainable. Morning to night. I love to teach, deal with folks that have an issue and really wish to tackle it and write.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow