North Korea-South Korea: A senior North Korean official said that a South Korean proposal to build a peace park in the demilitarized zone (DMZ) will depend on the success of the Kaesong industrial zone, according to a South Korean businessman recently returned from Pyongyang.
The businessman was in Pyongyang for the celebrations marking the 60th anniversary of the Armistice Agreement on 27 July. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un thanked the business man for his work in helping the North Korean economy.
In a meeting with reporters after his recent 11-day trip to the North, the businessman said that a top North Korean official responsible for North-South relations told him the two initiatives are linked.
Comment: South Korean President Park supports the peace park proposal, which she mentioned during his visit to the US in May. The businessman's report is significant because it marks the first time that any source has conveyed tentative positive North Korean consideration of the proposal.
The North's linkage of the peace park to Kaesong tends to corroborate earlier judgments that North Korea needs investment and, for now, is willing to accept it from the South.
North Korea:For the record. A North Korean government delegation led by Foreign Minister Pak Ui Chun left Pyongyang Saturday, 10 August, to visit African countries.
Comment: Over many decades, diplomatic activities, such as Pak's trip, have proven to be strong indicators of normality in the North. The North's leaders apparently are in a cooperative mood.
China-Japan: On Sunday,The Japanese Coast Guard detected three Chinese coast guard ships sailing around the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea just outside Japan's territorial waters. Japanese press reported that was the 26th straight day of such Chinese patrols.
On Saturday, four Chinese coast guard ships entered Japanese territorial waters near the Senkaku Islands and stayed for an hour.
Comment: On Wednesday and Thursday a Chinese patrol stayed in the area for more than 28 hours, the longest intrusion detected. That patrol began the day after Japan announced the launch of its helicopter-carrying destroyer, Izumo. The correlation does not appear accidental. The Tokyo government made an official protest.
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