North and South Korea this week started high-level talks, a dialogue that came at the suggestion of Pyongyang. The move came less than a week after North Korea threatened to halt family reunions it had planned to hold with South Korea over annual military drills the latter holds with the United States.
So, does this shift tone represent a potential breakthrough? What are the chances for peaceful ties moving forward? And how do South Koreans view their northern neighbor?
Seoul-based CNN correspondent Paula Hancocks is taking readers’ questions on this and other regional issues. Please leave your questions for Paula in the comment section below.
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Paula, North and South Korea are technically still at war with each other. The armistice of 1953 ended only the armed conflict on the Korean peninsular. This allows North Korea occasionally to flex its muscles and threaten to invade the South. Tensions have been exacerbated in recent decades by North Korea's nuclear ambitions. Why can't the two sign a peace treaty? Whose fault is it that it hadn't been signed?
You've answered your question, except that N.K. no longer has 'ambitions'. It has successfully tested three nuclear devices and the time for clandestine delivery of a threat is within 2 years, if it hasn't been realized already. Pyongyang doesn't have to sign any armistice.
Aren't these 'breakthroughs' sitting on the basis that Pyongyang's nuclear 'equalizer' is really having the effect on Seoul and U.S. policy they sought in the first place?
Altogether avoided by the U.S. and media is the fact that N. Korea does not need rockets as a vector for delivery of nuclear threats. Time is running out on the fact that a nuclear device could be clandestinely emplaced offshore Hawaii, Guam, or conceivably off some major U.S. West coastal city. Sanctions are not working, have not been working, will not work, and haven't Obama and his advisors quietly conceding that fact?
*...quietly conceded that fact?
USA should impose sanctions against Korea and not import anything (no kia, no samsung, no hyundai, no ssangyong, ...).
Now that would be a "marriage." We go to war with a 'country', lose limbs and lives, and then we turn around and import their goods. And somebody makes the almighty $$$. I think I have deep values of life and loss..... I truly don't understand the war cycle, which goes on and on and on.
NK's plan is to have nuclear missiles which can reach the US mainland. at that point, they can invade the South with impunity and reunify the peninsula by force, knowing that the US would not step in and risk a nuclear strike. the NK leadership knows that by taking over SK, they will triple their population and be able to enrich themselves and strengthen their military using SK's highly industrialized technology base and developed economy.
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