North Korea Cuts Ties with South Korea
North Korea announced it was nullifying agreements for non-aggression with South Korea on Friday, increasing the tension between the two countries.
The majority of analysts featured in reports believe the intentions behind this move are to gain the attention of United States President Barack Obama as well as force South Korean President Lee Myung-bak to soften his stance against North Korea.
"The North probably believes that this type of thing is the most effective way of getting the upper hand with the US ahead of negotiations by raising tension," Korea University professor Yoo Ho-yeol told Reuters, as reported in the Guardian.
South Korean officials are still wary of the announcement, and urge the North to lower tensions with dialogue. The New York Times reports Lee predicts the dialogue between the two neighboring countries will resume â€œbefore long.â€?
â€œOf all the countries in the world, who cares the most sincerely about North Korea? The United States? Japan? China? Russia? North Korea must realize that itâ€™s South Korea,â€? Lee said in a live round-table television discussion.
Lee Byung-chul, a senior fellow at the Institute for Peace and Cooperation, a policy advisory board in Seoul, believes otherwise. He predicts North Korea will strengthen ties with the U.S. while ignoring South Korea.
â€œIt doesnâ€™t appear that it will just end up as empty words from the North,â€? he told the New York Times.