[Update: Not Washington, but San Francisco, to meet with (presumably friendly) NGO’s, and New York, to meet Chris Hill for bilateral talks. I wonder if they mean this NGO, or this one. We may soon test the old adage that all publicity is good publicity.]
The chief nuclear negotiators of North Korea and the United States are planning to visit each other’s capital soon, a diplomatic source in Seoul was quoted as saying in a South Korean news report on Thursday.
North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan was likely to go to Washington first. The visits would be part of an effort to improve ties after a breakthrough deal this week on shutting down the North’s nuclear arms program, the Chosun Ilbo newspaper said. [Reuters]
Not since April of 1975 have we betrayed friends and rewarded enemies at such a breaktaking rate. All who had invested their hope and trust in us have gambled and lost.
Japan is faced with hard choices on North Korea with its hardline stance leaving it the odd man out after a compromise deal on the communist state’s nuclear programme. Japan has ruled out any funding for the agreement, reached Tuesday in six-nation talks that included Tokyo, until it resolves a row with North Korea over its past kidnappings of Japanese civilians.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who built his career campaigning on the emotionally charged abduction dispute, told parliament Wednesday that the issue “is our top priority.” But Japan is increasingly alone. Its chief ally, the United States, has compromised with the state which US President George Bush once derided as part of an “axis of evil.”
“The deal seems to be the result of a change in US policy to stress dialogue instead of pressure on North Korea, which means Japan is isolated in the six-party talks,” said Masafumi Iida, a researcher at Japan’s National Institute For Defence Studies. [AFP]
All who had conspired to betray us (South Korea and China) and to murder us (North Korea) have been rewarded. Both Koreas will continue to receive U.S. taxpayer largesse for their duplicity and mendacity. Both have moved a step closer toward extinction — the slow, repressive extinction in the North, and the lackadaisical surrender of freedom, independence, and prosperity in the South. But for now, both are content to decide how they will spend your money.
On Thursday officials from the two Koreas prepared to hold talks aimed at reviving a high-level dialogue and possibly open the way for major aid shipments.
Seoul’s delegation, led by Lee Kwan-Se, an assistant unification minister, left for Kaesong early Thursday for the one-day working-level talks, Yonhap news agency reported.
“We hope to make substantive progress not only in a solution to the North’s nuclear weapons programme, but also in the government’s policy of peace and prosperity by resuming the cabinet-level talks,” Unification Minister Lee Jae-Joung told the team. [AFP]
What can possibly be said in defense of this?
Bush defended the deal against critics, including from his key conservative base, who said that offering aid and other guarantees to North Korea in return for disbanding its nuclear network was rewarding “bad behavior” and a sign of US weakness.
Among the agreement’s vocal critics was Washington’s former envoy to the United Nations, John Bolton, who called it “a very bad deal” that shows US weakness at a time when Washington is challenging Iran over its controversial nuclear program.
It also “undercuts” UN sanctions resolutions against North Korea, Bolton said.
“I strongly disagree, strongly disagree with his assessment,” Bush said, however.
If I had wanted a president who would betray all of the principles our country stands for, I would have voted for John Kerry. I have never been so profoundly disappointed for having supported this president. After years of indecision, and then the belated adoption of a strategy that was working, he whored away principle for political expediency. He did it for the sake of a deal as amorphous, vague, and malodorous as flatulence itself.
Bush also promised to step up food aid to impoverished North Korea if Kim Jong-Il’s regime took “verifiable measures” to end its nuclear weapons program.
You can be sure that in the “new dynamic” Bush speaks of, there will be no demands that North Korea actually account for where that food aid will go. That means that the food we give will be just another weapon for the North Korean regime to use against its own people.
As for the laundered drug and counterfeiting money, all of that, too, will be resolved in 30 days. There will be a quick payoff and all will be forgotten until the proceeds are aimed at us. Meanwhile, here’s a question that no one has asked — by giving them back that money, won’t we be violating the very U.N. resolutions that we just rammed through?