Power struggle in North Korea?
North Korea's announcement Friday that it is scrapping all political and security arrangements with the South could be a cover for an ongoing policy struggle inside the secretive state's leadership, a Korea specialist here said.It sounds like a pretty desperate strategy, which suggest the situation in the North is very desperate indeed. The threat of war may be more useful to them at this point, but he actuality of war would be a disaster for the North Koreans.
"I think [North Korean leader] Kim Jong-iI is trying to coordinate different views, but these views are definitely competing," said Choi Jin-wook of Seoul's Korea Institute of National Unification. "And I think one view is the military's."
Pyongyang's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea said Friday that agreements "putting an end to the political and military confrontation between the North and the South will be nullified." These include a 1992 agreement on recognition of the Northern Limit Line, the de facto sea border between the Koreas in the Yellow Sea.
Mr. Choi said the military "could try to exaggerate tension with the South" to justify its continued pre-eminence.