Kim Jong-un expresses hope that the day will come for two Koreas to join hands

Oct 12, 2020, 07:53 am

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Cheong Wa Dae revealed that it convened an emergency session of the National Security Council (NSC) standing committee on Sunday to analyze North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s message in his speech made during a ceremony to celebrate the75th anniversary of the country’s ruling party in Pyongyang./ Source: Yonhap News

AsiaToday reporters Lee Seok-jong & Chung Geum-min

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un delivered words of appeasement on Saturday in hopes of restoring inter-Korean relations, using the expression, “To my beloved compatriots in the South.” He made the speech during a military parade held in Pyongyang to mark the 75th founding anniversary of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea. 

As expected, North Korea showcased its new weapons at the event, including a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). However, the North Korean leader stressed that the weapons were means of “self-defense” and made it clear that they were not aimed at the United States.

Kim’s message seems to reflect his willingness to restore the recently strained inter-Korean relations and continue dialogue with Washington. There is much attention towards how his message will affect the future denuclearization and peace process on the Korean Peninsula as well as its relations with Seoul and Washington after the U.S. elections on November 3. It seems that the North is trying to implement policies toward South Korea and the United States by looking at how things are progressing in the two countries without making any military provocations or testing strategic weapons.

Kim offered consolation to the entire world suffering from COVID-19. “I offer my heartfelt consolation to all those around the world who are still combating the disease caused by the malignant virus,” he said. “I sent this warm heart to my beloved South Korean compatriots,” he added.

Kim also wished South Korea a fast recovery from the pandemic in the reconciliatory message to Seoul, expressing hope that the day will soon come for the two Koreas to “join hands” after the current health crisis is over. 

This suggests that the North may actively engage in restoring inter-Korean relations and holding talks with Washington after the COVID-19 crisis is settled next year.

The North Korean leader vowed to continue to strengthen self-defense war deterrent, saying, “We will continue to strengthen the war deterrent, the righteous self-defense means, so as to contain and control all the dangerous attempts and threatening behaviors by the hostile forces, including their sustained and aggravating nuclear threat.”

However, Kim stressed that war deterrent is only for self-defense, and “will never be abused or used as a means for preemptive strike.” He made it clear that there is no hostility toward the United States, saying, “We are just trying to protect ourselves.”

Cheong Wa Dae convened an emergency session of the National Security Council (NSC) standing committee on Sunday to analyze Kim’s message in his speech. “We pay attention to North Korea’s position to restore inter-Korean relations as soon as the environment is created.” However, the presidential stressed that existing inter-Korean agreements should be kept at any cost to prevent bilateral armed clashes and war. They also urged Pyongyang to respond positively to Seoul’s offer that the two sides conduct a joint investigation into the gunshot killing by the North Korean troops of a South Korean government worker in the Yellow Sea border last month.

The Ministry of Unification voiced hopes that Kim’s message wishing South Korea a fast recovery from the pandemic may lead to “peace in the Korean Peninsula and improvement of inter-Korean relations.” However, the Ministry of National Defense voiced concern about the North’s demonstration of the new strategic weapon and called on the North to work together to reduce military tensions substantively through the complete implementation of the Sept. 19 bilateral military agreement signed in 2018.

#Kim Jong-un #75th anniversary #military parade #speech #inter-Korean relations 
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