Night Watch

North Korea: The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) published a new cooperation proposal.

"The National Defense Commission of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) makes a special proposal as follows with a resolute determination to adhere to the three principles of independence, peace, and great national unity and the spirit of by our nation and to open up a new turnabout phase toward improved North-South relations in reflection of the aspiration of all countrymen and the desire of all the nation."

"1. Let us make a renewed pledge to the nation to unchangingly adhere to the principle of independence and handle all large and small issues stacked up between the North and the South on that basis…."

"2. Let us fully suspend all hostile military acts that drive North-South relations to the brink of war and show our resolute determination to create a peaceful atmosphere to all countrymen and the world from the standpoint of peaceful reunification…."

"3. Let us take practical measures to find a new turning point toward reconciliation, cooperation, and national prosperity under the spirit of by our nation and the principle of great national unity…."

Comment: The timing of this proposal suggests some North Korean leader belatedly realized the President of China will visit Seoul this week and probably would be annoyed by North Korean missile launches and provocative propaganda. Chinese President Xi has been foremost in ordering North Korea to avoid war, maintain stability and resolve differences through talks.

The new proposal is a revival of a similar proposal made in February. The theme is familiar: that the Koreans should settle their differences without outside involvement.

The target is, obviously, the US military alliance with South Korea. At one point in the statement, the North said that many countries have requested opportunities to train with North Korean military forces, but the North has always refused. Thus, the North's purpose is to persuade South Korea to cancel annual summer training with US forces.

That will not happen, but at least the North is not firing missiles today. However, inconsistent and erratic policy announcements continue.

Pakistan: Today, in a long statement, the Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations, Major General Asim Saleem Bajwa, said that action will be taken against anyone who takes up arms. He added that the North Waziristan operation is a battle for Pakistan's survival.

Night Watch

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