Of course it’s but one tiny move in who knows what kind of game. We really have no idea what’s going on behind the scenes. I can’t help but wonder if such talks have been sanctioned by the U.S., or if they are going to happen despite the U.S. — and for who knows what geopolitical reasons on all sides.
Except, of course, for the poor people who live in both Koreas, especially the North. Can you imagine how the 40-year tense standoff has affected their individual and collective psyches? And how about the intense physical suffering and starvation people in the North have been subjected to, all because of those “geopolitical reasons,” whatever they are. Who cares what they are. Let’s get our stupid corporatized federal governments off our backs. Time to dissolve corporations and nation-states (especially the overweening U.S.), not by a one-world government, but altogether. Let’s decentralize so-called power back to where it really comes from, the Earth, soil, water, plants, minerals, rocks, animals, our bodies, minds and spirits, our homes, neighborhoods, communities, bioregions. . . the life-giving Sun in the sky, the starry nights winking mysteries . . . dissolve nation-states and let go of their wars. Grow food. Express our full selves. Care for one another. Love.
“When you’re finally up at the moon looking back on earth, all those differences and nationalistic traits are pretty well going to blend, and you’re going to get a concept that maybe this really is one world and why the hell can’t we learn to live together like decent people.”
— Frank Borman, Apollo 8, Newsweek, 23 December 1968.
June 6, 2013
Posted by Stephen Cook
By AFP reporters, SMH – June 6, 2013
North and South Korea have agreed to hold their first official talks for years, signalling a possible breakthrough in cross-border ties after months of escalated military tensions.
A surprise offer from Pyongyang on Thursday proposed discussions on a range of commercial and humanitarian issues, from reopening a joint industrial complex to resuming cross-border family reunions.
In an unusually quick reply, South Korea called for minister-level talks on June 12 in Seoul, and urged the North to reopen severed communications channels for working-level discussions from Friday.
“I hope… dialogue will provide a momentum for South and North Korea to improve relations based on mutual trust,” South Korea’s unification minister Ryoo Kihl-Jae said in a televised statement.
China, the North’s sole major ally, reacted positively.
“China is happy and welcomes that (North and South Korea) agreed to resume their engagement and dialogue,” said foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei.
Analysts also welcomed the development but some advised caution, saying the precise nature and agenda of the dialogue might create insurmountable sticking points.
“I think this is an attempt by the North to seize the initiative, but it’s premature to say whether the offer is likely to lead to a sincere dialogue,” said Yang Moo-Jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul.
Official contacts between Seoul and Pyongyang have been essentially frozen since South Korea accused the North of torpedoing one of its warships in March 2010 with the loss of 46 lives.
April and May this year saw tensions soar to worrying levels as the North, angered by joint South-US military drills and UN sanctions imposed after its nuclear test in February, threatened pre-emptive nuclear strikes.
The situation has calmed in recent weeks, with both sides circling warily around the idea of opening some sort of dialogue.
The North’s proposal, carried in a statement from the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea (CPRK), said the venue and date for talks “can be set to the convenience of the South side”.
Initial subjects for discussion would be the Kaesong joint industrial zone, which was closed at the height of the recent tensions, and the resumption of cross-border tours to the North’s Mount Kumgang resort, the CPRK said.
Humanitarian issues such as reuniting family members separated after the 1950-53 Korean War could also be discussed.