2021: Peace Network Newsletter Issue 2021-4

Peace Network Korea
Mit freundlicher Erlaubnis von Peace Network

Peace Network Newsletter, 2021-4 
Small steps, Road to peace

N.K. leader holds plenary Central Committee meeting of Workers' Party

North Korea held a Workers' Party meeting to finalize plans for new policies and decisions adopted at last month's rare party congress, state media said Tuesday. On Monday, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un attended the second plenary meeting of the party's 8th Central Committee to push ahead with "strategic tasks" set forth during the eighth party congress, according to the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). During the plenary meeting, Kim criticized "passive and self-protecting tendencies revealed by the state economic guidance organs" in setting this year's goals, and stressed the "principled matters for overcoming the tendencies and organizing the economic work in an innovative and meticulous way," the KCNA said. A plenary session of the Central Committee usually takes place at least once a year to decide its key policy line, organization reshuffles and other major issues. The first plenary meeting of the party committee was held last month during the party congress. At the eighth congress of the ruling Workers' Party last month, the North unveiled a new five-year economic development plan focusing on self-reliance in the face of the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic and global sanctions on its regime.
(source: Yonhap News)

Seoul's call for concessions to N.Korea may create tension with U.S.: CRS

South Korea's push for concessions to North Korea may continue to create tension in U.S.-South Korea relations, a U.S. congressional report said. The updated Congressional Research Service (CRS) report on South Korea noted policy coordination between Seoul and Washington had been "inconsistent" under former U.S. President Donald Trump. President Joe Biden, on the other hand, is "reinvigorating the alliance, suggesting he would abandon President Trump's repeated use of punitive tariffs against allies like Seoul and his demand for a five-fold increase in South Korea's payments for the costs of hosting U.S. troops," said the report, updated last Tuesday. "Bilateral difficulties could surface, however, over North Korea policy. Moon's government favors easing sanctions against Pyongyang, a stance that could create tensions with Washington," it added. Seoul is hoping the new U.S. administration will quickly restart dialogue denuclearization talks with North Korea, which have stalled since February 2019 when the second U.S.-North Korea summit between Trump and Kim Jong-un ended without a deal. South Korean President Moon Jae-in has also said the issue of holding U.S.-South Korea joint military exercises may be discussed with North Korea in advance after Kim cited the joint military drills as evidence of what he claimed to be U.S. hostility toward the North. "Moon generally favored offering more and earlier concessions to North Korea than Trump, creating periodic tensions, a dynamic likely to continue with the Biden Administration," the CRS report said. The Biden administration earlier said it will first review its entire policy and approach toward North Korea to determine the best tools it can use while dealing with Pyongyang. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said such tools may include additional sanctions, as well as incentives. "Well, the first thing we're going to do is to review the policy across the board to look at what tools we have, including additional sanctions, including, especially, additional coordination and cooperation with allies and partners, but also to look at diplomatic incentives," he said earlier. "So once we do that, we'll be able to tell you how we plan to move forward."
(source: Yonhap News)

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