Time Magazine also has an article on this subject.
There's a lot of talk about the ideological divide between the two current administrations in Seoul and Washington when it comes to North Korea: Seoul seems hell-bent on unfettered relations with Pyongyang as a way to open them up, even when it involves no reciprocity or quid pro quo of any kind; Washington seems to take the tack that engagement is propping up the regime and shouldn't be done.
Some have gone so far as to suggest Beijing and Seoul are now allies when it comes to keeping North Korea going (personally, I would contend that Seoul has not aligned itself with Beijing, but rather, is competing with Beijing for influence in Pyongyang). I think that is an unfair and highly unproductive read, and I believe certain things on the horizon will show that engagement is the wave of the future.
It hasn't happened yet, but as soon as Tokyo feels the abductee issue has been satisfactorily settled, we should expect to what could become a flood of Japanese investment
into the North.
And then there is this. A London-based fund management, Anglo-Sino Capital, has secured regulartory approval to invest in the isolated North. It is said to be the first such firm to do so.
The foreign asset managment firm's Chosun Development and Investment Fund LP initially aims to raise $50 million, eventually targeting a total asset size of around $100 million, targeting areas such as a possible revival in North Korea's mining industry and financial sector.
Colin McAskill, founder and senior partner of Koryo Asia and a director of Anglo-Sino Capital, certainly believes in North Korea's potential to open up to the outside world:
I think it (North Korea) can open up ... There is enough room for everybody.According to Reuters, McAskill has experience in dealing with North Korea since the late 1970s, such as negotiating on the country's behalf with their foreign bank creditors.
Time will tell whether this is a wise move or not. Pyongyang has to know that messing with these investors is a quick way to dry up future investment.
At the same time, the hard-liners in Washington have got to realize that opportunism alone — if not a lack of faith by Seoul (and probably Tokyo) that a hard-line policy is going to make North Korea behave — is enough to torpedo their chances of isolating North Korea to make it come to heel.
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