Vershbow: I’ll Believe It When I See the Plates

The U.S. Ambassador to Korea, Alexander Vershbow, is taking the fight back to “enemy” territory, as predicted.  In an interview with OhMyNews, Vershow responded to North Korean comments that some have interpreted as North Korean flexibility on counterfeiting.  Vershbow is obviously familiar with North Korea’s track record, because he wants more tangible proof that North Korea is capable of sincerity and good faith:

The U.S. ambassador to Korea, Alexander Vershbow, said yesterday that Pyongyang must show some “convincing evidence” that it had stopped counterfeiting U.S. currency notes to satisfy U.S. concerns.

Specifically, he said, the North must “provide evidence that the equipment and plates for the so-called supernotes had been destroyed so that concerns about further ability [to print more notes] will be reduced.” Mr. Vershbow was speaking to OhmyNews, an Internet news site, on Tuesday; the interview was published yesterday.

As for the South Korean position, that “rogue” North Korean businessmen may be behind the counterfeiting, Vershbow treats it with all the seriousness it merits:

He also repeated Washington’s contention that the counterfeiting program is state-sponsored, a contention that suggested a U.S. disinclination to give Pyongyang a face-saving way of stopping the printing presses and settling the issue by claiming that individuals or rogue elements of the government were responsible.

Having spent the last decade-plus pretending that North Korea was just as capable of ordinary diplomacy as the Netherlands, our government finally has an ambassador with an unencumbered grasp of reality. 

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