An expert on Korean relations has told SBS the attack by North Korea on its southern neighbour is Pyongyang’s attempt to command respect from the West.
Dr Danielle Chubb from the Department of International Relations at Australian National University says Pyongyang may be “trying to show the West they are a serious force to be reckoned with”.
Recent advances in relations with Seoul have been destroyed by the shell attack near the disputed Northern Limit Line, Dr Chubb says.
Prior to the attack, relations had been improving, with China pushing Pyongyang to engage in the six nation talks, according to Dr Chubb.
“There have been a lot of positive steps in the last ten years,” she adds.
“I don’t think we’re going to see any kind of progress in Inter-Korean relations for a long time now.
“I think it’s impossible to go backwards, but if we have a change of government in Seoul, or if North Korea starts to take serious steps towards disarmament, which is unlikely but possible, then that’s the only way forward, because the South Koreans have been pushed to their limits with this.”