Open Sources, Feb. 20, 2013

NORTH KOREA, WHICH WAS REMOVED FROM THE LIST of state sponsors of terrorism on October 11, 2008, has threatened South Korea with “final destruction,” … at the U.N. Conference on Disarmament.  I don’t have the original Korean, so I won’t opine on how similarly it translates to “endlossung.”  Discuss among yourselves.

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“The policy we have pursued over the last 20 years — engagement, containment, whatever — has failed to reduce the threat posed by North Korea to the security of the region,” Robert Gallucci said in a keynote speech during a security forum held in downtown Seoul.  [Yonhap]

Gallucci was the guy who negotiated Agreed Framework I, back when it was possible to say we didn’t really know better.

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“We won’t be able to make North Korea abandon its nuclear weapons through bilateral negotiations or dialogue,” South Korean President Lee Myung Bak declared today, publicly admitting what has become the majority viewpoint in South Korea and elsewhere.

He went on, “There is no hope of them abandoning their nuclear weapons until the regime changes or collapses.”  [Daily NK]

The error wasn’t engagement.  The error was engaging the regime, instead of engaging the people despite the regime.

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AND VICTOR CHA AND CHRIS HILL WANT CREDIT FOR IT:  Those two certainly are jealous and possessive guardians of their legacy of failure, aren’t they?  Leaving aside a lot of tough-yet-empty talk, the Bush Administration’s North Korea legacy will always be one of finding a policy that worked, and replacing it with one that couldn’t work.

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NORTH KOREAN PERESTROIKA WATCH:  North Korea holds rallies to celebrate its latest nuclear test.  Clearly, the domestic propaganda theory holds some weight.

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DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL:  “DPRK Service Personnel Vow to Give U.S. Imperialists Finishing Stroke.”  To paraphrase Inigo Montoya, I do not think those words mean what you think they mean.  Please, KCNA — this is a family-friendly site!