The Koreas: A Surprising Acceptance

After heavy floods that killed at least 188 South Koreans two weeks ago and caused severe damage to homes and crops, North Korea offered rice, medicine, cloth and cement in humanitarian assistance. Last week, to the surprise of practically everybody, South Korea accepted the offer. If the deal goes through, it will be the first extension of aid of any kind between the two hostile regimes since the Korean War began in 1950.

Some skeptics thought both governments were bluffing: that the North did not expect the offer to be accepted and that the South did not expect the aid to...

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