North Korea's Foreign Relations
(1) POLICIES AND TACTICS
0. North Korean foreign policy after the collapse of the Eastern bloc and the Soviet Union has had the basic purpose of maintaining the present regime. The basic strategy is to concentrate on stabilizing the internal political situation and avoiding friction with the surrounding four powers whenever possible, while utilizing the international balance of power to North Korea's advantage.
0. The hierarchy of North Korean foreign policy decision making before the collapse of the Cold War structure began with formulation of plans by the foreign ministry, followed by review of the International Committee of the Worker's Party, then approval by Kim Jong-il and a decree to the foreign ministry, in successive order. A monopoly by the foreign ministry was established after Kim Jong-il took personal control of all foreign policy decisions in the nineties.
0. Kang Suk-ju has emerged as the dominant figure in North Korean foreign policy following the foreign ministry-dominated negotiations with the United States concerning the nuclear issue, thus eclipsing Kim Youngju as Kim Jong-il's confidant on foreign policy decision-making.
0. North Korea realized the importance of improving relations with the United States after hopes of surmounting the economic crisis with Japanese reparations were dashed due to lack of progress in their attempt to improve relations with Japan without contact with the Americans.
0. Their emphasis upon establishing ties with the United States reveals their intention of checking Chinese influence by setting the US against China, while forcing the Japanese to go along with all subsequent agreements and souring US-ROK relations simultaneously.
0. Kim Jong-il sees the United Nations essentially as a political instrument for fulfilling interests of the United States. The primary focus of North Korea's UN diplomacy is demanding the removal of the USFK while securing aid from various international organizations.
(2) OVERSEAS JUCHE RESEARCH CENTER
0. Attained personal permission from Kim Il-sung in October, 1970, for official efforts to establish Juche as philosophy, including a four-year publication project to organize and systematize Juche thought into a single collection. Budget allocation to support the activity of the center is approximately $1-1.2 million per annum.
0. Established the Overseas Juche Research Center in Tokyo in April 1978 to facilitate dissemination of Juche ideology overseas, with Kaoru Yaesu as first director (Inoue Shuhachi presently). Annual funding for the center is provided by the North Korean government, and responsibility for funding has since been transferred to the Chochongryun, or Association of Chosonites in Japan (Pro-Pyongyang Koreans in Japan).
0. Regional Juche centers are presently being maintained in India, France, Peru, and Nigeria. Though no support for the centers has been forthcoming, funds were provided for the Asia Juche Headquarters in India ($30000-$40000), Latin America Center in Peru ($10000), and about $5000 for the European Center in France.
0. The ambassador or the head of the North Korean mission to a country is usually charged with responsibility for the dissemination of Juche. Agents have been dispatched to certain areas specifically for the purpose, but no report nor review of their activities and performance has been made.
(3) RELATIONS WITH OTHER STATES
[NORTH KOREA - UNITED STATES]
0. Kim Jong-il's strategy for approaching the US is as follows:
- Bide time by using improvement of relations as a cover, while attempting to improve North Korea's international standing and reputation through gestures for peace.
- Rely on exclusive relations with the United States for South Korea's diplomatic isolation, while attempting to impede policies of reform and openness in the PRC.
0. The US is simultaneously considered the most hated enemy and an object of political manipulation to North Korea's advantage, so that establishment of formal diplomatic ties is not likely in the near future. There is a strong likelihood of demands for removal of the USFK and South Korea's diplomatic isolation in case formal relations are instituted.
0. Any missile control agreement with the United States has a strong possibility of turning out to be an empty covenant whose provisions North Korea has no intention of observing.
0. The US-North Korea Nuclear Accord is being touted by North Korea's propaganda machine as a victory orchestrated by decisions made by Kim Jong-il. The North Korean people have no alternative but to accept propaganda as true, given lack of access to outside reporting or information.
[JAPAN-NORTH KOREAN RELATIONS]
0. Kim Jong-il has issued express orders to "assume an attitude of superiority toward the Japanese and lead them through negotiations." Obtaining an apology and reparations remains the dual purpose of attempting improvement of relations with North Korea.
0. The policy of direct contact with the Japanese has been replaced by priority upon improvement of relations with the United States, after acknowledgement of US approval as prerequisite for initiation of talks between North Korea and Japan.
0. Resumption of talks between North Korea and Japan looks highly probable. Immediate establishment of diplomatic relations is not unlikely, should the Japanese be willing to pay $10 billion in reparations.
[CHINA-NORTH KOREA RELATIONS]
0. Continued maintenance of relations between North Korea and the PRC for the foreseeable future in anticipated, with North Korea attempting to extract more aid from China, using improvement of relations with the US as leverage against Chinese disdain for closer ties between the two.
0. The PRC has been considered a capitalist state by North Korea after China's establishment of formal diplomatic relations with South Korea. Lack of communication on diplomatic policy between North Korea and China is an indication of slightly strained relations.
0. North Korea is seeking to counter Chinese influence, especially after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Kim Jong-il so far has refused several Chinese invitations for an official visit.
[RUSSIA-NORTH KOREA RELATIONS]
0. No great emphasis on relations with Russia is expected, as Russian support and aid in unification of the peninsula by force is not likely.
0. Acceptance of equipment but refusal for entry by South Korean personnel in the event of Russian attempts to normalize North Korean industry with South Korean money and Russian technology.
[RELATIONS WITH OTHER COUNTRIES]
0. Attempts at improvement of relations with Taiwan are under way in order to attract more capital from Nationalists.
0. Reportedly dispatched a team of representatives headed by a bureau chief from its National Security Agency to Hong Kong, immediately preceding its return to Chinese rule, for discussions on establishment of a consulate within the Special Administrative Region.
0. Kim Il-sung ordered cutoff of aid to nations in Africa on the basis of temporary effect at best and their double-standard in allowing influx of South Korean money, calling the effort "wasteful." Decrees concentration of aid to countries in Southeast Asia.
0. Kim Jong-il has recognized the increasing role of the Asia-Pacific region in the 21st century, which serves as justification for his emphasis on Southeast Asia, as well as his pursuit of established relations with such countries as the Philippines and Australia.
0. Kim Il-sung declares the importance of approaching opposition parties in Latin American countries such as Brazil and Peru to be second in importance only to Southeast Asia. Approaching ruling parties of the countries concerned is considered difficult, a situation which probably served as justification for the statement.
(4) CHOCHONGRYUN REMITTANCE TO NORTH KOREA
0. Chochongryun remittance is considered the primary source of foreign capital/hard currency.
- $600 million per annum during the eighties. Present amount of Chochongryun remittance unknown, but a substantial decrease appears likely due to decrease in money from pachinko gambling and real estate.
- Provision of "funds for education" to pro-Pyongyang Koreans for propaganda purposes, but no direct investment of North Korean money into Japan is expected.
- Hwang Jang-yop protests the inordinate amount provided as "consolation" for victims of the Kobe earthquake. A rejoinder by a Reunification Front cadre went as follows: "We will receive returns many times our original remittance."
0. Plans to demand $10 billion in reparations from Japan during negotiations for establishment of relations back in 1991-1992.
0. Discussions for utilization of expected reparation money, not for use in the economic sector but elsewhere.