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Regime survival is primary goal — Chung-in Moon interview part 2 military/politics

http://www.nknews.org/2013/05/regime-survival-is-primary-goal-moon-chung-in-interview-part-2/

문정인 교수님 인터뷰 두번째 파트가 올라왔습니다. 여기에 올리는 게 많이 늦었네요. 전문은 위에서 보실 수 있습니다. 북한에 대한 안드레이 란코프, 마이클 그린, 빅터 차 등의 견해를 문 교수님의 관점에서 비판하는 내용입니다.

SEOUL -Regime survival is the primary driving force behind North Korea’s nuclear program, foreign affairs, and domestic policy, said Moon Chung-in in the second of a two-part interview with NK News.

Analysis from figures like Andrei Lankov suggesting that the DPRK nuclear program might be used as a bargaining chip is misleading U.S. foreign policy, Moon said. He believes that “numerous attempts at negotiation have all failed because of this incorrect assessment.”

In calling for further sanctions and isolation, Moon criticizes American commentators like Victor Cha and Michael Green. “Cha and Green have witnessed that sanctions did not work while they were working for the White House. Yet, they simply blame China for the ineffectiveness of sanctions,”  he explains.

Moon concludes that a key problem with the North Korea watching community surrounds an absence of real argument. “At all these conferences, the American NK experts all sort of nod their heads – no one steps out of line.” And unfortunately America’s North Korea experts “suffer from a deep insecurity, an unsettling underlying awareness that they don’t know what they are talking about.”

Chung-in Moon is a leading advocate of the Sunshine Policy on North Korea and the only scholar to attend both the first and second inter-Korean summits in Pyongyang as a special delegate. Currently a professor of political science at Yonsei University in Seoul and editor-in-chief of the English-language quarterly journal Global Asia, his book, The Sunshine Policy: In Defense of Engagement as Path to Peace in Korea, was published by Yonsei University Press in 2012.

Full interview follows:


NK News: Amid the symposium of verbal assaults on the peninsula, Andrei Lankov explained North Korean bellicosity as diplomatic blackmail to extort aid from the outside in his New York Times op-ed. His op-ed was acclaimed by some as words of composure in the middle of a warmongering atmosphere in the United States. What do you think?

Lankov raised a good point, but I do not agree with his analysis. I do not think that North Korean bellicosity was designed to extort external aid. I got the impression that he is saying what the United States most wants to be heard: North Korea is doing all this for money and it’s all about brinkmanship, extortion and bargaining power! This could be a motive behind North Korea’s provocative behavior, but I would argue that the extortion motive must be a peripheral one.

The core motive is the survival of the state and regime as well as recognition and esteem. It is very likely that the North launched the rocket on December 12, 2012 for a scientific purpose, and it undertook the third nuclear test on February 12 as part of its efforts to build minimal nuclear deterrence capability. Its recent exceedingly provocative military maneuvers might have been a reaction to the ROK-U.S. joint military exercise. While this might all reflect Pyongyang’s efforts to draw American attention for dialogue and negotiations, but not for extorting American aid. Of course, that could be an outcome of dialogue and negotiation, but not the primary motive.




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