Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
With his arrival today in Seoul, US President Barack Obama’s “Why Can’t We Be Friends?” tour of East Asia is quickly drawing to a close. The DPRK is expected to dominate any discussions President Obama has with ROK President Lee Myung-bak. President Obama has opened security and economic doors to the North Koreans in Tokyo, held a “town hall” (just as stage managed in China as they are in the US) in Shanghai and met with PRC President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao. All the while US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was futilely pressing Chinese diplomat Dai Bingguo over Iran and DPRK nuclear issues. And now, President Obama is soon to meet with Kim Jong-il’s arch-nemesis Lee Myung-bak.
Aside from Rodong Shinmun editorials calling for increased Inter-Korean discourse, there has been nary a word, a peep, from the DPRK propaganda apparatus on President Obama’s statements or travels in East Asia. I can only presume that General-Secretary Kim is waiting to see what happens in ROK before the PAD revs its single-mindedly determined engine.