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MOSCOW, September 29. /ITAR-TASS/. The speech by North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong at the United Nations General Assembly session that riveted the global public’s attention did not contain sensations - the concept of a confederation of two Koreas is not new, Russian experts note.
At the same time, they believe his speech shows that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is activating its foreign policy efforts, its peace offensive.
It is the first time in the past 15 years that Pyongyang sent its envoy of such a high level to the United States, which immediately provoked various speculations in western media. Foreign observers first of all were attracted by words of the DPRK’s foreign policy department head on the principles of possible reunification of North and South Koreas.
In July this year, the North Korean government suggested to South Korea adopting a complex of measures called upon to open the road to reconciliation and unity. The document noted that reunification could be carried out on the basis of confederation principles, which stipulate “existence of two various social systems and ideologies”.
The DPRK has lately made attempts to establish relations with South Korea, Americans and Japanese, Alexander Vorontsov, the head of the Korea and Mongolia Department of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Oriental Studies, told ITAR-TASS.
“It can be called peace offensive. And the latest steps, including the speech at the UN General Assembly session, confirm that the DPRK decided to activate its foreign policy efforts,” Vorontsov said.
The expert said the idea of a confederation is not new. It has existed for many years and proceeds from the principles of equality of two Koreas and their voluntary peace reunification.
But the DPRK has to address the issue again due to the recent active demarches on the part of South Korea’s leadership, which is pushing for reunification on conditions of North Korea’s absorption by South Korea a la the German variant.
The North Korean leadership recalled once again that there is an alternative concept: a gradual voluntary rapprochement, which takes time, he stressed.
Konstantin Asmolov, a leading research worker of the Korea Research Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Far Eastern Studies Institute, agrees that the DPRK just responded to South Korea, which is for takeover of the North by the South. “The idea of a confederation has been suggested since the 1980s, but residents of the North have no opportunities to carry out reunification on their own conditions,” he told ITAR-TASS.
“But the speech of Ri Su Yong in the General Assembly and the trip of another North Korean diplomat, Kang Sok Ju, to Europe confirm that the DPRK is way more active in its desire to establish diplomatic dialogue with the outside world than it is presented in the West,” the expert concluded.
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