11/28/2018, 12.34
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Lighter sanctions and care for trees, new gestures of peace in Korea

by Joseph Yun Li-sun

A survey by the National Council for Unification - the Seoul government's consultative body - shows that the majority of the population wants "lighter" measures against North Korea. The Moon Jae-in government sends 50 tons of chemical treatments to fight a disease infecting North Korean pines.

Seoul (AsiaNews) - The steps taken by the North Korean regime towards the denuclearization of the peninsula seem to convince the people of the South. A survey carried out by the National Council for Unification - the Seoul Government's consultative body - claims that 64% of the sample is ready to see the sanctions against the dictatorship led by Kim Jong-un "lightened" or even "eliminated altogether".

Furthermore, the majority of the sample examined for the survey - 1,000 people from all social and geographical backgrounds - claims that the current situation of relations between the two Koreas is "satisfactory". According to 55.3% the situation is acceptable, while 41.4% believe it is far from the minimum safety standards. Regarding the planned visit of the young dictator of Pyongyang in the capital of the South - announced but not yet scheduled - 60.1% of those interviewed consider it a good idea, a further step towards a true peace in Korea.

The survey is interesting because it confirms the substantial approval of the South Korean population for the efforts made by President Moon towards a more dialogic policy with the North. In a highly polarized society like the South Korean one, in fact, the executive must proceed prudently to avoid internal rifts between those who consider North Korea to be still the absolute evil and those who would like to open up more to bilateral cooperation.

In this sense, the government has decided - as a gesture "of good will" - to send 50 tons of chemical products to the North. It is a product for the pine trees, which cover a vast mountainous area of ​​the northern part of the country, which would now be afflicted by a bacterium able to decimate them.

The knot of the international community remains. The United States "appreciates" the steps taken by Pyongyang towards disarmament, but calls for "more concrete and more decisive efforts". Japan for its part does not seem to have yet made a clear decision on the peace process in the peninsula, while Beijing "approves" the decisions of the young dictator but looks apprehensively at the role played by Washington.

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