Would the North spend $30 million on something it’s not going to use?

The ending of The Sunshine Policy saw a shift in the balance of self-interest. Lee Myung-bak’s administration would permit the continuation of hard economic mutually-beneficial cooperation at the Kaesong joint industrial complex, but no longer sanction quid pro quo-less aid, such as the washing up on North Korean shores of thousands of tons of rice. Such aid now became tied to the North’s responsible participation and progression in the denuclearization of the peninsula. A subsidiary motivation for withholding handouts might also have been that they have always been de facto subsidies for the maintenance of North Korea’s military. In a country whose national policy is the self-proclaimed “Military First” (선군), how could they not? It also now seems that aid could have been indirectly financing the North’s ICBM development program, which doesn’t come cheap.

 

Our Land Shines through the Arms of its Military First policy!

"Our Land Shines through the Arms of its Military First policy!"

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