There’s debate over whether such Chinese aid would be useful in restarting diplomacy or unhelpful in easing the pressure that alone might someday spur a deal. What’s most likely is that it doesn’t matter: that the North Korean regime will never give up its nuclear weapons, because it has nothing else — no legitimacy at home or abroad. As in Iran, the problem is the regime more than the weapons. That’s not an argument against engagement with Kim Jong Il any more than with the mullahs. It is an argument for clear-eyed engagement, though — with a recognition that in the long run only a change in the nature of North Korea’s government is likely to solve this problem. [Washington Post Editorial]
Give yourself a smug pat on the back if it didn’t take you 20 years to figure this out.