June 23, 2000
What prompted Kim Jong-Il to emerge from his veil of mystery last week and accept an olive branch from his South Korean counterpart, Kim Dae-Jung? South Koreans are still bewildered, if pleasantly surprised, by the extravagant reception that President Kim Dae-Jung received from his host, Kim Jong-Il, during the historic visit to Pyongyang. They are wondering what is behind the warm gestures and magnanimous demeanor and what it all means for the future of North-South relations. It is possible, though not likely, that the North Korean leader has become an apostle of peace on the divided peninsula. A more plausible explanation suggests other motives.