Funny how that works: China doesn’t want to restrain North Korea from attacking South Korea, but hates it when the U.S. Navy shows up on its front door. The Wall Street Journal passes along a sampling of Chinese reactions to the shelling of Yeonpyeong. Well-connected people I’ve spoken to seem convinced that there’s a segment within Chinese academia and government that really has had it with North Korea, but I doubt China will ever restrain North Korea without being subjected to much more pressure than we’ve been willing to consider so far. The people who run China are enjoying North Korea’s shenanigans too much.
The Independent reports that North Korean workers in Russia have been recalled as North Korea “prepares for war.”
A mass exodus of North Korean workers from the Far East of Russia is under way, according to reports coming out of the region. As the two Koreas edged towards the brink of war this week, it appears that the workers in Russia have been called back to aid potential military operations.
Vladnews agency, based in Vladivostok, reported that North Korean workers had left the town of Nakhodka en masse shortly after the escalation of tension on the Korean peninsula earlier this week. “Traders have left the kiosks and markets, workers have abandoned building sites, and North Korean secret service employees working in the region have joined them and left,” the agency reported.
Well, maybe, though an equally if not more plausible reason is a recent spike in defections among those workers.
With all due respect to Lee Ha Won, I don’t think it follows that “getting serious” about North Korea policy necessary means having a full-time envoy to a country that isn’t prepared to negotiate seriously. Chris Hill was a full-time envoy. Look where that got us. I’d say that “getting serious” means giving the North Koreans and the Chinese reasons to finally take us seriously and negotiate in good faith for once.
Pejman Yousefzadeh saves me the trouble of fisking Jimmy Carter.
Somehow, this doesn’t really shock me: Roh and DJ ignored the evidence of North Korea’s uranium program.
I can certainly understand the sentiments of the ROK Marine Commandant: “We will pay back North Korea 100 times, 1,000 times for atrociously killing and wounding our soldiers, who were the pride of the Marines,” Marine Corps. commander Yoo Nak-jun said in an eulogy.” I never recommend f**king with the Marines.
OK, it’s not North Korea related — well, maybe not North Korea related — but this story about how how the Stuxnet Worm shut gummed up the Iranian nuclear program, destroyed sensitive equipment, and probably caused Iran to shoot some of its own scientists may be the most fascinating, scariest thing I’ve read all week.