After ROC [Republic of Korea aka South Korea]president Lee Myung bak assumed the power of his office in March 2008, he trashes the 'Sunshine Policy' towards the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea aka North Korea] that his predecessors had initiated.He thus cut off all aid in kind--chemical fertilisers and foods, in his 'drag nach Norden', to bring Pyongyang to its knees, by softening its stance on the nuclear issue and in the belief he could give the DPRK a strong dose of its medicine. He failed completely.
Now in late October 2009, he is allowing 10.000 ton[ne?]s of corns and 20.000 ton[ne?]s of powdered milk for North Korea. Its his payment in kind for Pyongyang's 'ouverture' towards the US, since citizen Bill Clinton's mission of mercy to the DPRK in early July 2009. Mr. Lee fearful that his ally in Washington might abandon South Korea, has had to run fast to keep in place and save face.
US president Obama [BHO] expressed a willingness to engage in direct talks with the DPRK, but with a condition or two--Pyongyang's return to the six power talks Kim Jong il swore North Korea had left for good. Politics has a way of twisting threats, so the likelihood is that a dual track of talks with ensure as the modalities are worked out.
Seoul's Lee Myong bak, after lobbying long and hard for BHO's public iteration of never abandoning an ally, invoking protection of the ROC under the US' nuclear umbrella, and strong declarations similar to China's invocation of the Sung dynasty as a protector of North Korea, now Washington is the lips to Seoul's teeth.
Mr. Lee has floated an idea or two about lessening tensions on the divided Korean continent. They are hardly veiled proposals for North Korea's surrender. Little does he know his 'brothers to the North'. Had he read African history, his eye might have come across the name of Sekou Torre, who dared defy France's Charles DeGaulle. Torre flatly refused the neocolonial trappings of a French community of former colonies by opting out of DeGaulle's offer. He let it be known that he preferred his country proud yet poor to one suppliant on its knees before its old master.
Now what do we ascribe Mr. Lee's 'generous' [sic] 10.000 ton[ne?]s of corn? It's a one time payment in kind, to the tune of us$3,5m, for the resumption of uniting families in the North and the South separated since the Korean war which remains without a peace treaty.
Obviously, Mr. Lee has little intention of softening his stance towards the DPRK. He prefers a stalemate at best in the hope that the DPRK will collapse on its own weight. His bones will turn to dust before that happens. It is more believable that he will see the termination of his presidency first.