N. Korea leadership change an enigma to the South
Lee holds out hope for reform
SEOUL | South Korea’s president said Wednesday that North Korea’s new leadership, including young dictator Kim Jong-un, may be trapped in the secretive regime’s old ways, noting the North’s announcement of plans to launch a satellite after having promised not to conduct missile tests in exchange for U. S. food aid.
“Perhaps they feel the need to change and open up, but because of the nature of power within North Korea, they may not be able to do so,” President Lee Myung- bak told a select group of foreign correspondents at the presidential residence, the Blue House.
“I am sure there is a lot of debate and argument going back and forth within the North Korean leadership,” Mr. Lee said, adding that his government lacks hard intelligence about the inner workings of the North’s totalitarian regime.
In a wide-ranging interview, the conservative president discussed North-south relations, the influence of China and Vietnam and an upcoming global summit on nuclear security that his country will host.
North Korea announced last week that it will launch a satellite in April — a maneuver that many analysts consider a cover for a missile test. The announcement was made just weeks after North Korean diplomats secured badly needed U.S. food aid in exchange for a vow not to conduct missile launches, among other promises.
“How Kim deals with the international condemnation will be a litmus test,” Mr. Lee said, noting that a missile launch would be “a clear violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions.”
Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan (left) and owner Daniel Snyder meet with Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Robert Griffin III at Baylor’s pro day workouts in Waco, Texas. Washington is widely expected to take Griffin with the second overall pick in April’s NFL Draft. Story, C1.