The cooperative efforts displayed by Japan, China and South Korea marked a sharp contrast with the fractured reaction to a series of North Korean missile tests in July. In that incident, China and South Korea accused Japan of overreacting.
On Wednesday, China — the North's main ally and key benefactor — appealed to Pyongyang to show calm and restraint, issuing an unusually pointed statement that referred to North Korea by name, instead of its usual appeals for all sides to remain calm.
Japan, China and South Korea announced a series of summit meetings over the next week to repair damaged ties and coordinate a strategy. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will meet with Chinese President Hu Jintao on Sunday and South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun on Monday. Roh will then visit Beijing for talks with Hu and other officials on Oct. 13.Indeed Korean newspapers report that threatening such activities makes the Roh government of S Korea very unhappy
Meanwhile, North Korea's nuclear test threat will likely add to a chill in the inter-Korean relationship, according to the analysts.
It came as the two Koreas' relations have dropped to their lowest ebb due to the North's missile tests in July, since the leaders of the two Koreas held a historic summit in Pyongyang in 2000.
Seoul has cut its regular food and fertilizer aid to Pyongyang since the missile tests, although it shipped a one-time aid package to help the communist regime recover from flood damage in the summer.
"We express grave worry and concern because North Korea's position that it will carry out a nuclear test is a fatal threat to peace on the Korean Peninsula and has a decisively bad influence on the inter-Korean relationship," said Yang Chang-seok, spokesman for the Unification Ministry.
The immediate victim of the nuclear test threat is likely to be inter-Korean economic projects such as the Gaesong Industrial Complex and the Mount Geumgang tourism resort, the analysts said.
The threat will spook potential South Korean investors away from the industrial complex and the number of tourists to the scenic mountain will likely decline because of security concerns.In other words a rational observer would think that N Korea had far more to gain from being nice than being nasty right now. So given that N Korea is making these increasing desperate attempts to get attention I think it is likely that the regime is in deeper kimchee internally than has been hitherto believed. In other words we could be about to see N Korea implode, collapse etc. etc. I have no idea what the N Korean harvest has been like this year (i.e. has it been catastrophic or just merely dire) and what other drivers might be present but it would not surprise me to learn that the closing down of much of N Korea's money laundering, counterfeiting and drug smuggling has severely impacted the living standards of the appartchiks who would normally be supportive of the leadership.