If anyone ever asks what we should do about North Korea from this day forward, I think I’ll just refer them to this:
Empower the office of the US special envoy for human rights in North Korea so that the special envoy can fulfill his mandate as per Section 107 of the North Korean Human Rights Act of 2004 unfettered by Washington politics. Make full use of the $20 million appropriated for 2008 to provide assistance to North Koreans outside North Korea as stipulated in Section 203 of the Act. Increase the volume and frequency of radio broadcast into North Korea and provide funds and logistical support to organizations that disseminate information into North Korea. Bring back the Treasury Department to the fore of US-North Korea policy so that fighting financial crimes once again becomes the practical instrument by which pressure is placed on the Kim Jong Il regime. Target Bureaus 38 and 39 of the North Korean Workers’ Party as entities of “primary money laundering concern” under Section 311 of the US Patriot Act, so that their various criminal activities come under the greater and sustained scrutiny of the international financial community. [Sung Yoon Lee, Asia Times]
There’s a legacy in this for those who seem concerned about little else:
The two men can chart a detailed future plan for providing humanitarian relief to North Korean refugees and reconstructing North Korea in a post-Kim Jong-il world. That world may lie years or even decades away, for as long as Kim is able to keep his own mortality at bay he is likely to remain in power and perhaps even succeed in handing over rule to one of his three sons. […]
To save North Korean lives, to coerce the North Korean state to relax its repressive control within its concentration camps, and to restrict the Kim Jong-il regime’s nefarious criminal activities would be real and lasting achievements in changing North Korea. All are entirely feasible goals with a policy of principles and pressure.
Read the whole thing.