Behind the Scenes of Tension Between Two Koreas over Thrash-Filled Balloons

2024/06/15 | interview, political, top news

Strategic Council Online - Interview: An expert on international issues said: Although the tensions and war of words between North Korea and South Korea over garbage balloons are not serious, they are important because they occur in the context of a historical and long-term tension.

In an interview with the website of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, Nozar Shafiei said about the recent tensions over the sending of garbage balloons from North Korea to South Korea: Since the 1950s and the division of the peninsula, there has been a crisis in the relations between the two Koreas, but under different conditions; these crises have sometimes subsided and sometimes escalated exponentially. But in the last seventy years, what has increased the tension between the two countries is not necessarily affected by their tensions and differences with each other but rather by the behavior of America and South Korea on the one hand and America and Japan on the other hand in the region. He continued: For some time now, the atmosphere of the Cold War has prevailed in the Asia-Pacific region due to the presence of the United States in the region. On the one hand, the presence of the United States has strengthened bilateral alliances. On the other hand, it has intensified the competition between China and the United States with their allies in the region. At the same time, this process has created a worrying security environment for North Korea because South Korea is also a part of this puzzle.

This international affairs expert stated: In addition to the historical background of the tension between the two Koreas, regional developments have also fueled the escalation of these tensions. Because North Korea considers political and regional movements to be hostile to Pyongyang. When two neighboring countries are in conflict and tension with each other for many decades, any behavior, even a tiny and unimportant action by one side, is considered a threat to the other side. South Korea’s action in halting border cooperation happened about two months ago, and on the other hand, North Korea’s missile tests have continued this spiral of crisis under different headings.

 

Shafiei considered the ongoing conflict between the two Koreas to be one of the most important threats in this region and noted, ‘ For about seventy years, any action by one of the two countries or their allies has been considered a threat to the other side and its allies. ‘ This process has been the basis of the crisis in the region and between the two Koreas.

 

 

 

 

Shafiei said: The action of each of the parties should not be considered a small or unimportant action, but it should be seen in the context of a continuous and deep conflict.

Referring to the involvement of transregional powers in the conflicts between the two Koreas, this expert on international issues stated: The consolidation of relations between the US and the Republic of South Korea and the regional equations in East Asia are worrying for North Korea because this country is part of the issue of East Asia operates in the camp of China: Just as South Korea and Japan sometimes represent America’s interests in disputes, the Republic of North Korea sometimes takes actions on behalf of China. Therefore, part of the conflicts between the two Koreas is carried out under the influence and desire of China and the United States, and the conflicts and tensions between the two Koreas cannot be separated from this issue. In fact, it is the US or China that sends messages to each other through some movements of the two Koreas.

Shafiei stated: In recent developments, China has repeatedly sent the message to America through North Korea that if it does not reduce its support for Taiwan and continues its stubborn political support, its allies in North Korea may take measures South Korea may not like. Therefore, North Korea’s pressure on South Korea and the recent movements in the debate on sending garbage balloons do not necessarily indicate the country’s desire to enter into war and increase tension. Still, it targets the countries of the region for undeclared purposes.

He emphasized that the developments and verbal conflicts between the officials of the two Koreas over thrash-filled balloons are not a serious issue. Compared to the conditions that existed in the relations between the two countries in the past, it is an insignificant action; however, because these events take place in the context of a long-term conflict, they become important and should not be taken lightly.

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