Saturday, November 06, 2004


Experts weigh in with their predictions.
North Korea will force the pace," said Peter Hayes, executive director at the Nautilus Institute, a U.S. think tank for global security.

Bush will either raise the ante and take greater risks, or make a de facto acceptance of Pyongyang's nuclear status and leave it to regional powers to manage the mess left behind from this nonproliferation failure, he said.
Does North Korea really want to "force the pace?" Unless P'yongyang sincerely believes that Bush will cave, it seems to me that virtually every likely scenario of forcing the pace ends in an outcome that is worse for North Korea.
Washington's tougher stance toward Pyongyang will deal a blow to Seoul, which has sought reconciliation with Pyongyang through economic assistance, experts said.

Kim Sung-han, a researcher at the state-funded Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security, said that "North Korea is likely to wait until the formation of a new U.S. security team next March or April."

Sejong Institute researcher Lee Tai-hwan said that Bush will use a mixture of containment and engagement toward Pyongyang, using China.

Bush's reelection will increase the role of South Korea and other neighboring countries in solving the crisis, he added.
So, Washington's presumed "tougher stance" will "deal a blow to Seoul" by increasing South Korea's role in solving the crisis? Of course these are different "experts" making different predictions.
Korea University professor Hahm Sung-deuk said, "Bush has placed much weight on Japan's role in regional security, and his reelection will accelerate the trend."

Analysts, meanwhile, expect no major change in the relationship between Seoul and Washington.

The Bush administration has already handled such major issues as dispatch of South Korean troops to Iraq and realignment of U.S. troops on the Korean Peninsula, they said.

They said that Korean troops in Iraq will be pressured to extend their stay there, leaving Seoul with few options in order to maintain ties with Washington

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