North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un called for an end to conflicts with South Korea at a time when the South’s incoming president is busy crafting new policy on the North. In an unusual nationally televised address on the New Year eve, Kim Jong-un said that history has shown that confrontation leads to nothing but war.
"An important issue in putting an end to the division of the country and achieving its reunification is to remove confrontation between the north and the south," Kim said in Tuesday's address, according to the Guardian. "The past records of inter-Korean relations show that confrontation between fellow countrymen leads to nothing but war."
Mr. Kim, who inherited North Korea’s policies from his father Kim Jong-il, is being viewed by many analysts as a progressive figure who is attempting to set apart his form of government from his father’s confrontational policies.
Kim’s father hardly ever spoke publically and announced his policies via state newspapers, but the younger Kim has adopted a more open approach after inheriting power from his father. He has regularly been appearing in the public arena, frequently showing up with his young wife and addressing his nation through television. Hi recent gesture appears to be evocative of his grandfather, national founder Kim Il Sung, who usually spoke on the new year.
Analysts see Kim's statement as an indication that he is open to establish good relations between the two Koreas, which could ultimately be associated with the North's request for aid from South Korea.
Kim also indicated that he intends to focus on economic improvement of his country, which is heavily reliant on China for aid. It is pertinent to mention here that the North’s one-third population is malnourished and the nation faced severe famine during Kim Jong-il’s rule.
Regardless of Kim’s call to make peace, some analysts were cynical that it suggested any remarkable shift by the North. Kim speaks high of his country’s military power; during his latest speech he also indicated the same when he referred to North Korea’s successful rocket launch in Dec., 2012, which was condemned by the United States and South Korea as a cover for testing its missile launching capacity.