Donald Kirk on the Death of the ‘Sunshine Policy’
Donald Kirk speculates on the uncertainty surrounding the future of the “Sunshine Policy” as we enter the Lee Myung-Bak era. “Uncertainty” and “confusion” appear to be the buzzwords of the day. Kirk points out that Lee seems to be telegraphing a hard-line policy and a reconciliatory policy simultaneously.
Lee himself has somewhat confused matters by talking a far tougher game than either former president Kim Dae-jung or Roh, while extending what looks like his own personal olive branch of friendship.
Other factors, besides Lee’s policies are sure to play an important role. Namely. U.S. policy in the region. Notes Kirk:
A corollary question is whether President George W Bush is as anxious now as he was last year in a show of North Korean compliance with its agreement to give up its nuclear weapons – or has he lost interest in North Korea as a chance to burnish a legacy already tarnished in Iraq and Afghanistan?
But, at the end of the day, Kirk predicts future tensions on the horizon:
US analysts predict Lee in the end will want to soften his position while pursuing economic projects with North Korea, but tensions may escalate in a time of transition and uncertainty in Korea as well as in the US.
Read the full article here.