SPECIAL ANALYSIS - NORTH KOREA - POLICY TOWARD SEOUL AFTER KAL BOMBING

Created: 2/2/1988

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Special Analysis

KOREA:

Toward Seoul Aller KAL Bomhtna

Korea's sdoofagoouth Korean airliner In Novembor and proposal last month tor North-South talk* arm symptomatic ol the North's Jekyll-and-Hyde approach to dealing with Seoul There It no Indication P'yongyang Intends to abandon either aspect ol Its policy.

During the pastears, the North has repeatedly proposed dialogue with Seoul while planning and implementing terrorist acts.3 it proposed talks with tho US and South Korea within days ol the bomb attack that killedouth Korean officials in Rangoon, Burma. Each new act of violence raises the question of whether the North has abandoned Ihe peaceful swig of its dual approach. The evidence suggests the answer is no. ffJH

Shortly after the airliner Incident last November. P'yongyangad unilaterally reduced its military forcesnd reiterated its call for disarmament larks. Presidentong, In his Now Year's address, reaffirmed Interest fai talks with the South andilateral conference toariety of topics. Including the Olympics and military Issues. Two weeks later the North formally presented its proposal to the South.

offers suggest P'yongyang will continue Us offorts of the past year to portray Itself as the side more flexible and more Interested In reducing tensions. It hasternatrves. The peaceful tactic has not produced the results the Northofficial talks with the US and talks with the South on the North's terms. Violence, however, risks the disapproval of the North's major allies, China and the USSR, and precludes Improved political and economic relations with ihe West. BemmM

the North does not appear ready to abandon the peaceful side of lis policy, the extent to which ft will pursue the violent track remains the Issue. The surviving suspect In the KAL bombing claims the Incident was aimed at disrupting the summer Olympics. The action came loo early to atfect the games directly and the Olympicsempting target for P'yongyang.

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