Recent series of rhetoric and threats surrounding the NLL seems to be a set of political maneuvering on the part of North Korea. A continuing leitmotif of North Korean regional foreign policy is its aim to establish diplomatic relations with the US while isolating the ROK from the regional diplomatic and security forums. The statements from 17 and 30 Jan served as a vehicle to maintain the US’ focus in the region and engagement with the North to bring to fruition Kim Jong-il’s deep seated desire to normalize diplomatic relations with the US. Through the same two statements, the North has conveyed the ROK administration its mounting displeasure about the current ROK policy on North Korea.
Sin, Steve S. 2009. “Two Birds with One Stone – Attention from the US & Conciliation from the ROK.” United States Forces Korea Open-Source Analysis Report.