Consistent aid flow from South to North Korea may be in peril, hinging primarily on the outcome of South Korea’s forthcoming presidential elections. Lee Myung-bak, a conservative ex-businessman dominating the December 19 election polls, has made it known that he would take a tougher line with North Korea. Lee intends to deviate from current president Roh Moo-Hyun’s engagement policy, criticized for giving away too much for very little in return. “Lee Myung-bak will emphasize stick and carrots,” said Nam Sung-wook, an authority in North Korea Studies at the Korea University. South Korea has been providing the North with steady aid, despite the country’s questionable human rights record and nuclear program. However, Lee said that he would create a USD40 billion investment fund, if the North agrees to stop pursuing nuclear weapon production.

Source: South Korea vote may curb aid, end hugs for North (Reuters)

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