Opposition supporters in Seoul staged a small but noisy demonstration to condemn the announcement of a summit between North and South Korea later this month. Despite official optimism from both sides, many analysts, and the protestors, believe it has been orchestrated to boost the South Korean leader’s chances of being re-elected in December.
Koh Yu-Hwan, a professor of North Korean studies, argued in an interview that the North Koreans appeared to have suddenly decided to go ahead with the summit because the current administration in the South looks like it is going to lose the next election, and the opposition would take a much tougher line with Pyongyang. Technically speaking the two Koreas remain at war with each other.
However the countries’ two leaders held an historic summit seven years ago that led to economic cooperation projects and allowed families split by the border to be reunited. As far as the secretive communist North is concerned, the upcoming meeting is another sign that leader Kim Jong Il is becoming more willing to cooperate with the international community.