El apostador de Corea del Norte

SEÚL – Tras una investigación exhaustiva, Corea del Sur culpa a Corea del Norte del hundimiento de su buque de guerra, el Cheonan, el 26 de marzo. El debate sobre cómo responder se complica por el hecho de que el hundimiento del Cheonan no parece ser un evento aislado, sino parte de un  cambio en el patrón general de comportamiento de Corea del Norte. En efecto, Corea del Norte se ha vuelto cada vez más audaz e impulsiva desde que Kim se enfermó (posiblemente por un derrame cerebral) en agosto de 2008.

En el pasado, los principales dirigentes norcoreanos solían calcular cuidadosamente los costos y beneficios de las acciones que tomaban para ejercer presión sobre el mundo exterior. Además, preferían jugar sólo una carta de “amenazas” a la vez. Sin embargo, en abril y mayo de 2009, hicieron a un lado su cautela diplomática lanzando un cohete de largo alcance (así como varios misiles) y realizando un segundo ensayo nuclear –todo en un lapso de varias semanas.

Tan pronto como reaccionó la comunidad internacional mediante la adopción de la Resolución 1874 del Consejo de Seguridad de las Naciones Unidas, Corea del Norte pasó rápidamente a una ofensiva de seducción dirigida a los Estados Unidos y a Corea del Sur. Las autoridades liberaron a dos periodistas estadounidenses y a un trabajador surcoreano que habían sido detenidos en agosto de 2009 bajo cargos de infracción a la ley norcoreana.

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