Korea: August 3, 2002

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Peace talks with South Korea began in North Korea, after an unexpected apology by North Korea for last months naval battle. The North has also quietly introduced market economy policies in parts of the country. The North is still suffering from famine and economic collapse. Apparently the ongoing debate in North Korea, between reformers and old line communists has been won, or is being won, by the reformers. Actually, the communists don't have many options. Years of famine and economic decline have continually lowered morale, and loyalty, among the people of North Korea. The loyalty of the North Korean armed forces has become more and more questionable. Fearing a popular rebellion like those that broke out in Eastern Europe in 1989, the North Korean communists have been listening to advice from Chinese communists, who urged them to allow a market economy, but hang on to political control. The Chinese also advised making nice with the neighbors. Apparently, the advice is finally being followed. 

 

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