Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Rocket Man vs. the Bulldozer

So I just picked up this week’s Economist. And for those of you who haven’t read it yet, there’s a good article on recent North-South relations aptly titled “Rocket Man v. Bulldozer”. As anticipated in my “Sing Song Diplomacy” entry last month, it looks like music can win hearts and minds for only about oh…..a day. The Economist essay details Kim Jong-Il’s actions in response to Lee Myung-bak’s more aggressive strategy. Since February, KJI has kicked out South Korean business officials, launch naval missiles into the sea, and sent his MIG’s and army units provocatively close to the DMZ. Although the South has remained relatively calm – calling the missile tests “routine military exercises, one has to wonder how long Lee Myung-bak’s approach can persevere in the face of criticism and a DPRK looking upset a strengthening US-ROK alliance. Mr. Lee's promise of economic revitalization already looks to be in trouble with the indefinite shelving of some investment projects in the North. Indeed, both the "Rocket Man" and the Bulldozer" are playing a high-stakes game of chicken.

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