1.Tragedies in Recent History. Subjected to the oppression ( from the standpoint of Korean nationalism ) of surrounding powers such as China, Japan, Russia, and the post-war United States, creating a specific “culture of hatred” for the collective social consciousness. “Hate” became the momentum to progress for the Koreans and the society at large.
2.Polarized personality. Under which everything is clearly divided between black and white without any “gray area” or “middle way” philosophy. Strong sense of pride created a “face culture” in which one hates being looked down by others while at the same time feeling an extreme low sense of self-esteem, creating a feeling of “kowtowism” ( or submission to the stronger ) toward the super powers.
3.Always give “sufficient face” first, meaning the US to first give official diplomatic recognition, before moving onto issues such as nuclear weapons and weapon proliferations. To the North Korea, face is more important than the substantive economic aids and war compensation ( example, the “Nixon shock” of 1972, the US first gave Mao Zedong enough face.)
4.Taiwan can play the role of intermediary. In the past one-half century, between Taiwan and North Korea, there had been neither “peace” nor “war” or any exchanges. So, the two sides can have a “brand new” beginning. Moreover, North Korea is very curious about Taiwan's development experience. They want to learn from Taiwan not only in terms of the economy but also politics. With respect to the latter, they want to understand how political power was succeeded from father, Chiang Kai-shek, by his son, Chiang Ching-kuo, while maintaining political and economic stability of the country. This is something I came to realize while visiting North Korea in 1991.
Among all the surrounding countries, Taiwan is the one country toward which North Korea feels the most goodwill and less likely to be repelled by North Korea. So, how to utilize this advantage of Taiwan is an issue worthy of serious ponderance by both China and the US. For example, the US, China, Japan, and South Korea may not be at liberty to some certain things, they can utilize Taiwan as its “intermediary white gloves.” Doing so can minimize the resentment and side effects in North Korea.