Open Sources, Feb. 25, 2013

CONGRATULATIONS, MADAME PRESIDENT.  It’s already looking like five hard years ahead.

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ISN’T THAT HOW EINSTEIN DEFINED INSANITY?  Robert Gallucci cannot possibly have said, on one hand, that “[t]he 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,” and also, in the same speech, said, “It’s my conclusion that the best approach to the current situation is the same one adopted 20 years, namely diplomatic engagement ….”

No one could willfully advocate the continuation of a failed policy, right?  Well, yes, they could.  Yonhap’s story quotes Gallucci thusly from a post-speech press conference.

“It [diplomatic engagement] would be a good idea, and I would favor looking for an opportunity to engage the North Koreans in order to determine whether or not they are prepared to enter into a protracted discussion that would meet some of their security concerns and meet our concerns of their nuclear weapons program,” he said.

Sigh.  That’s our national security brain trust for you.  Advocating the same thing again and again, and expecting different results.  Interesting (but not surprising) to see how differently Yonhap and the Hanky emphasize those two contradictory statements.

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MUST READ:  In The Washington Post, Chico Harlan writes about the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights’s belated call for an investigation of abuses in North Korea, and how that call, and South Korea’s term on the U.N. Security Council, will be an early test for Park Geun Hye.

The Post has been doing a magnificent job covering North Korea ever since Glenn Kessler stopped doing it.

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SOMEONE TEST MY BLOOD SUGAR:  I just read something John Feffer wrote for The Hankyoreh.  And liked it.

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SOMEONE HAS CREATED an interactive video that attempts to simulate the experience of escaping from North Korea.  Really, I don’t think that kind of terror can ever be simulated, but it’s an interesting project.






  1. Albert Einstein died in 1955. That definition of insanity seems to date from the 1980s. Here’s wiki answers.


    President Park may choose to support the human-rights inquiry quietly. The North Korean regime will respond in ways counter-productive to itself.

    The Feffer link was interesting. The Glans Plan relies on the expanded Republic of Korea to treat its northern citizens with dignity and respect.

  2. My greatest fear is that the dynamic Dennis Rodman ends up doing nothing after a week in North Korea; nothing stupid, nothing smart; simply nothing newsworthy at all. Come on, Dennis…elbow a sentry at Panmunjom, obnoxiously refuse to lay a wreath at Kim Il Sung’s feet, or surprise us all by being granted a photo opportunity (or jersey signing) with Kim Jong Un. Just do SOMETHING so Joshua will give you the post you deserve!

  3. Wang Yi, an expert on Japan and North Korea, is expected to be China’s next foreign minister. An anonymous Chinese source says he is “familiar with the North Korean issue, but it is complicated and more difficult (to resolve) than scaling the heavens unless the United States is willing to help.” For our part, Obama and Kerry can show good will by appointing a czar of Nork Nuke Knocks, possibly Joshua Stanton.

    Cui Tiankai is to be the ambassador to the US. Wikipedia says he’s a graduate of the School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University.

    Here’s Benjamin Kang Lim’s report at Reuters, with additional reporting by Ben Blanchard and editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan.

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