No Longer Seoul Enemy

From the June 2004 Trumpet Print Edition

For two countries that are still technically enemies, North and South Korea are looking more and more friendly.

In the past, official Seoul Defense Ministry documents described North Korea as South Korea’s “main enemy.” But not anymore. Now, phrases such as that have been replaced with words like “partner.” Schools used to portray Kim Jong-Il, North Korea’s dictator, as a horned devil, but now he is depicted as a respected leader. The South Korean government is working hard to prove to its people that Pyongyang is not the threat it once was. In contrast, Washington still considers North Korea part of an “axis of evil.”

At inter-Korean talks in May, parties agreed to an unprecedented summit. A meeting, slated for August, will occur with generals from both countries in the demilitarized zone that separates the two Koreas. It will be “the most senior uniformed encounter across the demilitarized zone … since the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce” (Reuters, May 7).

North Korea also accepted $25 million in aid from the South. (In the past, Pyongyang has refused such aid.) Seoul sees this as an indication of a friendlier north.

Meanwhile, South Korea continues to distance itself from the U.S. as it pursues trade agreements with Vietnam, Japan and China. Kim Hang-gyeong, a former South Korean vice foreign minister, said that based on polls among lawmakers, “in the future, China will receive more importance than the United States,” in diplomatic and trade issues (english.chosun.com, April 30).

Bible prophecy foretells that Asian nations will unite in a massive military effort in the end time (request our free booklet Russia and China in Prophecy). Asian countries will continue drawing closer as that time approaches.

Watch for South Korea to maintain its path toward further cooperation with the North at the expense of its alliance with Washington. And watch for the U.S. to welcome this move as its interests get further tangled in the Middle East