Easing of Tensions Amid Intensifying Sanctions Confounds Diplomats, “Peace Studies” Majors

Funny thing is, it was just yesterday that Selig Harrison was telling us that sanctions would make the North Koreans so mad they’d stomp away and not talk to us. And then I read this:

North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has sent word that he wants to hold a summit with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak in the latest sign of easing tensions between the divided nations, news reports said Monday.

Kim’s envoy proposed the summit during a rare meeting Sunday, and Lee told the envoy that he would be open to a summit if it is discuss North Korea’s nuclear program, the South’s mass-circulation Chosun Ilbo daily reported, citing an unidentified government official.

Another leading newspaper, the JoongAng Ilbo, carried a similar report.

However, the South’s presidential Blue House denied the reports, saying that Lee and the North’s envoy had general discussions on improving relations between the two sides, but that nothing related to a summit was mentioned. [AP]

So what was it that President Lee did to achieve this great thaw? Could it have been Lee’s breaking of international sanctions by resuming the flow of unconditional aid? Pulling out of the Proliferation Security Initiative? Dropping his criticism of the North’s human rights record at the U.N.? Canceling joint exercises with the Yankee imperialists? Maybe it was his refusal to coordinate with the Americans to put financial pressure on the North? Or was it the way he chased after Kim Jong Il’s emissaries like a stalker off his thorazine?

What? None of the above? So all those mean things Lee Myung Bak did and said were not the End of Diplomacy As We Know It?