DIPLOMACY

Is Kim Jong-Il Making Nice?

Showing off Pyongyang’s newfound conciliatory mood, South Korea and North Korea are holding talks this week that will focus on the reunions of families torn apart during the Korean War. They’ve scheduled a three-day meeting between Red Cross representatives from both nations, and, if agreements are reached, families separated by war could see each other for the first time since 1953. It’s all part of what what Time magazine calls “a North Korean charm offensive,” set off by Bill Clinton’s recent visit to free two American journalists. According to South Korean news outlets, North Korea has even invited Barack Obama and Stephen Bosworth, the U.S. special envoy to the country, to sit down for talks. American outlets previously reported that President Obama refuses to meet with North Korean officials; nonetheless, South Korean reports claim the administration is “seriously considering” a trip next month.