Home / World News / What South Korea really wants to ask North Korea as formal talks begin

What South Korea really wants to ask North Korea as formal talks begin

North and South Korea are staging diplomatic talks for the first time in more than two years, as the North prepares to send athletes to the Winter Olympics.

The sudden change of tact from North Korea was unexpected and sparked suspicions that Kim Jong Un was attempting to drive a wedge between the US and South Korea.

As the two countries commence their first talks since December 2015, there may be more South Korea wants to know than how many athletes they can expect next month.

Here are five questions that Seoul would want to ask Pyongyang officials but may not be able to.

North Korea olympics team
Image:
North Korea’s athletes reportedly face discipline if they are unsuccessful in competitions

1. What happened to the last North Korean Olympics team to compete?

Rumours flew during the Rio Olympics in 2016 that less successful members of North Korea’s delegation faced execution on their return home.

North Korean leadership expert Toshimitsu Shigemura, a professor at Tokyo’s Waseda University, told The Telegraph at the time: “Those (Kim Jong Un) feels have let him down are likely to be punished by being moved to poorer quality housing, having their rations reduced and, in the worst-case scenario, being sent to the coal mines as punishment.”

It was reported in 2010 that the North Korean football team’s players and staff faced a similar fate after their 7-0 loss to Portugal in the World Cup.

North Korea phone line opened
Image:
North Korea and South Korea spoke ahead of diplomatic talks

2. Is it time to reposition weapons targeting Seoul?

Although the North boasts of its nuclear weapons being able to reach the US, it has plenty of conventional weaponry pointed firmly at Seoul.

The South may be reasonable in a request to have this moved in order to advance the talks.

Kim Jong-un
Image:
Seoul likely has many questions it wants to ask Kim Jong Un

3. Did you really feed your uncle to dogs?

Reports that Mr Kim executed his uncle Jang Song-thaek by having him stripped naked and fed to starving dogs in 2014 were largely quashed when it emerged the tale had originated with a satirical news site. But in the spirit of no smoke without fire, South Korea might be wishing it could ask for the real story behind his death.

A coach carrying South Korean officials makes its way to Panmunjom
Image:
A coach carrying South Korean officials makes its way to the talks

4. How many political prisoners and POWs are you holding?

As recently as 2016, there have been reports of American Prisoners of War (POWs) still being held in North Korea, 60 years after the Korea War. CIA documents from 1997 included a suggestion that the US knew it had troops being held in the secretive nations.

South Korea may also want to ask about the number of people allegedly kidnapped by Pyongyang – however, North Korea has denied holding American POWs in the past.

Kim Jong Nam was killed in February 2017 in Kuala Lumpur airport
Image:
Kim Jong Nam was killed in February 2017 in Kuala Lumpur airport

5. Who ordered the execution of Kim Jong Nam?

In February, pictures emerged of two women poisoning the North Korean leader’s brother with the deadly VX nerve agent.

It is believed the murder of Kim Jong Nam, who became something of a black sheep after an “incident” in Japan, was ordered by Mr Kim to cement his leadership and links to his father’s bloodline.

But exactly what happened could still be a question South Korea needs the answer to.

About brandsauthority

Check Also

New York Is Pushing Homeless People Off the Streets. Where Will They Go?

On a sweltering July afternoon, a homeless man named Melvin Douglas biked up to his …

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: