Kim Jong-un’s televised address, the first in 19 years by a North Korean leader, raised hopes to some extent. Chosun Ilbo, a South Korean newspaper, reported some pleasing words:
“I am sending New Year’s greetings to our compatriots in South Korea and our friends in foreign countries.
“National confrontation can only result in war. What’s important in ending national division and achieving reunification is to remove confrontation between the North and the South.”
But his reference to building up military might as the only way to prosperity, coupled with previous changes of direction, tempers optimism.
Another article in Chosun Ilbo records that “Global Trends 2030”, a report issued by the US National Intelligence Council, predicts that in 2030 a reunified Korea could reduce its dependence on the U.S. and pursue an independent development model.