Also Friday, North Korea said its new leader, Kim Jong Eun, won't work with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, continuing the anger its regime displayed under Kim Jong Il over Mr. Lee's refusal to provide it with unconditional economic aid.This is from The Wall Street Journal today.
The statement on Friday—which said North Korea would shun Mr. Lee's government "forever," though he has just 14 months left in office—appeared to dash any hope that the younger Mr. Kim might try to change relations with South Korea after his father's death.
Instead, the 1,400-word statement, issued a day after the formal mourning period ended in North Korea, attempted to use Kim Jong Il's death as another event to influence South Korea's political scene, where elections are scheduled for parliament and the presidency in 2012.
The statement's harsh language and attribution to the North's National Defense Commission was also a sign that the younger Kim may engage in some kind of military provocation against the South to rally support for himself by portraying the North's citizens as under threat from Seoul.
The question is not so much as to if the North will hold a hard line as it is if the North will take provocative action. One can assume the South would respond to provocation so as to avoid further provocation, although a response could also lead to escalation.
Respond firmly or ignore the provocation. That is the question.
Regards — Cliff