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» 02/08/2011
KOREA
Intra-Korean talks, a sign of Pyongyang’s desperation
by Joseph Yun Li-sun
Colonels from the two sides meet today in the demilitarised zone to prepare a ministerial level meeting. A source tells AsiaNews, “Pyongyang is on the brink of collapse. We are afraid the ‘Third Kim’ will impose himself with violence.”

Panmunjom (AsiaNews) – Military talks between the two Koreas, which started up today in the demilitarised zone, “are a pretext to gain time. Seoul does not want to fight a war with Pyongyang, which has to show signs that is reasonable if it wants to get back into the good graces of China,” a North Korean source told AsiaNews on condition of anonymity for security reasons. “What is certain is that the initiative comes from Kim Jong-il. The heir has rushed into things, and the father wants to avoid other incidents.”

Talks between colonels from the two sides took place in two separate sessions at Panmunjom’s Peace House. The first one lasted less than hour. Nothing is known about the second.

Kim Min-seok, a spokesperson for South Korea’s Defence Ministry, the delegations met for the first time after months of tensions following the 23 November incident in which North Korean artillery shelled Yeonpyeong Island, killing four people, including two civilians.

The colonels discussed details like place, date and agenda of higher-level talks, for a possible meeting between defence ministers.

Defence Ministry sources in Seoul made it clear however that no deal would be reached without apologies and appropriate measures by Pyongyang for the shelling on Yeonpyeong and the sinking blamed on North Korea in March 2010 of the ROKS Cheonan, which killed 46 sailors.

The source told AsiaNews that “appropriate measures should be shown. They include sending away North Korea’s heir Kim Jong-un, who is thought to have pushed for the two military attacks that raised tensions between the two Koreas. North korea is in a desperate situation and cannot avoid cutting a deal. The fear however is that the ‘Third Kim’ might not hear reason and try instead to impose his rule by force.”


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See also
07/30/2010 KOREA – UNITED STATES
Third round of talks between the United Nations and North Korea over ROKS Cheonan
09/30/2010 KOREA
No breakthroughs at North-South military talks
10/29/2010 KOREA
Troops exchange fire in DMZ, raising tensions between the two Koreas
01/03/2011 KOREA
In a surprise move, Seoul says door to dialogue “still open”
11/25/2010 KOREA
South Koreans wait as Seoul sends more marines to island
by Joseph Yun Li-sun

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".
CHINA - VATICAN
Beijing, seminarians desert graduation ceremony: We will not celebrate Mass with illegitimate bishops The rector of the seminary is the illegitimate bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin: Students refuse to concelebrate with him and reject Msgr. Fang Xingyao, who has participated in several illegal episcopal ordinations. The directors close the year without awarding diplomas and send students home: rumors of some courses being "suspended" in September. The precedent of 2000, when 130 young students chose fidelity to the Pope over compromise with the government.
HONG KONG-CHINA-VATICAN
Card Zen: Religious freedom and civil liberties are united, for China and Hong Kong
by Bernardo CervelleraA wide ranging conversation with the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong: the courage of Msgr. Ma Daqin, who sent a message to Pope Francis; underground Catholics are also prepared to be arrested; suspicions about Beijing’s sincerity towards possible dialogue with the Holy See. And in Hong Kong, the march for a referendum on democracy; support for "Occupy Central"; the fear of the government and arrests. Card. Zen reaffirms that religious freedom and civil liberties go hand in hand.

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pp. 176
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