Catalytic Diplomacy

Note to Seeking Dialogue



"Kim Jong-Il is Merciless"
He has a merciless character. His character is that of a tormentor: Rather than enjoying watching people having happy and pleasant lives, he gets satisfaction from watching people suffer. He is a downright dictator; if there were 100,000 or even one million people who were suspected of being anti-government or anti-party, he would execute them all by shooting. So, even under the current conditions, the system can be maintained.

He has total control over the military and the party’s executive members. In this sense, his political capability is quite well developed.

Whenever someone in North Korea wanted to travel abroad, six secretaries at the party’s central committee made a final decision.

Kim Jong-Il’s most important objective is to normalize diplomatic relations with Japan so as to receive war reparations. So he wants to pursue it aggressively, but he is also aware that Japan cannot do so alone without approval from the United States. Therefore, he tries to ease up the relationship with the United States to some extent. North Korea does not want actual normalization of diplomatic relations with the United States. But, by easing up its relationship with the United States, it wants to make sure that the United States will not object to its effort to normalize diplomatic relations with Japan. This is one aspect. Another aspect is the thought that if North Korea can improve its relationship with the United States, it will be able to come out of isolation in the international community, and that will be advantageous.

However, Kim Jong-il is stubbornly opposing the idea of having an American Embassy in Pyongyang. So, up until the time when I left North Korea, he was ordering not to let the United States establish its liaison office in Pyongyang. Never let it come. Kim Jong-Il was saying that if the United States wanted to come to North Korea, let is open its office in Rajin or Sonpon [these are in special economic zones].

He is overly concerned about the possibility that the world will find out about his awful conduct as a dictator.
FROM AN INTERVIEW IN FBIS, FEB 10, 1999.




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