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Good News Out of North Korea

America Blog story:

With the understandable focus on Iraq this week, some interesting developments in North Korea have slipped under the radar. In the past five months, Chris Hill, Assistant Secretary of State and the lead on recent dealings with Pyongyang, has accomplished what five years of neocon hardline policy could not, culminating earlier this week with North Korea's closing of their plutonium producing facility in Yongbyon.

This is a tremendous -- if still tenuous -- step towards disarmament, and an important indicator of foreign policy both micro and macro. Specifically regarding North Korea, it means that we *can* affect their actions and thinking, despite hysterical conservative claims of North Korean irrationality and insanity. And generally, it helps prove the point many of us have made for years: negotiation works, and engagement is far better than isolation and brinkmanship. It may not be exactly what we want or like, and it means dealing with some despicable regimes, but it can get the job done.

For someone with a brain in his head, this would be a freakin' CLUE. There are few more despotic people on earth than Kim, but he can recognize reality and when a coalition of interested parties offered him a small carrot in exchange for shutting down the nuclear plant, he grabbed it.


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Comments (9)

marc:

And of course you fail to mention the possibility the years of isolation imposed by Bush OR the draining of resources (i.e. funds cut off, counterfeit ops shut down, NK pachinko palors shut in Japan, etc) it's all about the "carrot."

At least that's what you want to believe and portray.

Without all the rest the carrot wouldn't mean dog squat.

bryanD:

marc,

US sanctions viz. PRK are almost irrelevant when ROK is set on Korean reunification (and ever-increasing ROK>PRK aid to that end) and BOTH Koreas have settled into the Chinese sphere of influence at the insistance of SOUTH Korea (US judged too emotional and the Axis of Evil inclusion of PRK (besides being a lie) was an affront to the Korean people as a whole, ie: no AlQaeda in Korea, sorry!)

US: out, China: in (IF the choice must be made, and SINCE The Chimp made it for them, so be it.)

You're correct about the Japanese pullout, because the Japs are afraid of CHINESE pay-back via PRK. If the Japs ever apologize for Manchuko, the Sino-Japanese War, and WW2 (JUST WORDS), they'll all be tight as sardines in a can. For business's sake. And Culture's.

bryanD:

PS: Your over-estimating US influence.

Lee Ward:

harumph - from what I've been reading the sanctions were very effective, at which point the carrot plus cessation of the sanctions were a very attractive package.

Paul Hamilton:

China is the only one who could really influence North Korea, and I imagine they've just about run out of patience with the disruptions on their border and let Kim know that unless he REALLY wanted to find out what sanctions meant, they'd better start getting along.

And I still think that debacle of a nuclear test took all the wind out of their sails.

marc:

bryanD;

PS: Your over-estimating US influence.

And you downplay ANY possibility the U.S., or more to the point BUSH, policies have any effect anywhere in the world with the exception of creating some version of hell on earth.

NK's turn around didn't happen in a vacuum asshat. It was via the 6 Party talks... you know the talks that your ilk said would never work and insisted on bilateral talks with NK and to hell with NK's neighbors.

jpm100:

"change course in Iraq"

This vague slogan worked a bit for the last election, but the pretense of supporting any options but premature withdrawal is over. They need a new slogan.

kim:

"A coalition of interested parties" Hmm, a coalition? Who's idea was that. Couldn't have been a damn neocon.
====================================

kim:

bD, the Words will come. The Nips are not proud of that.
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