Bishop: North Korea’s threats may be ploy to get aid

North Korea’s threat of nuclear war may be a desperate ploy to get foreign aid without losing self-esteem, according to the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea.

“It is our presumption that they wish to draw out some financial assistance from abroad without conceding their pride or self-esteem,” said Bishop Peter Kang U-Il of Cheju in South Korea.

Bishop Kang described the economy of North Korea as “demolished” and living conditions there as “destitute”.

While “one could not deny the possibility of [an] unexpected military clash”, Bishop Kang said that “I think we need much patience in dealing with the people of [North Korea] who have been isolated for [a] long time from [the] modern world.”

In an email to Catholic News Service, Bishop Kang said Catholic bishops “feel very sorry” that the North Korean threats are making “the whole world very uncomfortable and anxious.”

As tension mounts in the peninsula and signs of war mount, the bishops “are trying in every way to find a road to peace. Although South Koreans seem calm and quiet, the current situation has shaken people inside. We may be used to these threats, but no one can deny the possibility of a sudden military confrontation.”

“North Korea may be in this situation in which it threatens everybody because it is not able to revitalise its economy and save itself from going over the brink,” Bishop Kang said.

“It needs foreign investment but also self-respect. It wants to save face, something we feel strongly for. In the 60 years since the war, North Korean rulers have held a sense of superiority and self-sufficiency, but this recipe has destroyed their economy.”

On March 30 North Korea announced that its supreme leader, Kim Jong Un had declared a “do-or-die” battle against invasion after a United States stealth bombers drill. In an April 9 television announcement, the government advised foreign institutions and enterprises, including tourists, to take measures to prepare for evacuation and their safety in case of war.


Catholic News Service


Image: Aleteia

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