Appeasement Diplomacy

The freeze fantasy: Don’t tell us to talk to North Korea if you aren’t listening to North Korea

A weird logic prevails among certain North Korea-watchers, to whom Pyongyang’s every violation of the many disarmament agreements it has already signed becomes “fresh” evidence that we must pay it to sign yet another disarmament agreement. Thus, every time Pyongyang launches a missile or tests a bomb, we can expect a new crop of op-eds …

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Appeasement

Sung-Yoon Lee: Why do we appease N. Korea?

Professor Lee recounts the long history of North Korea committing outrages against peace, international order, and every standard of human civilization, and of American presidents of both parties doing approximately nothing about it. Pyongyang’s countless provocations since the Korean War have never set off a meaningful punitive response. Even in egregious cases like assassination attempts …

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Appeasement Propaganda Sanctions Subversion Sunshine

Our grand plans to engage North Korea must learn from their failures and evolve with the evidence

One of my cruel habits lately has been to ask the holdouts who still advocate the economic, cultural, and scientific “engagement” of Pyongyang to name a single significant, positive outcome their policies have purchased at the cost of $8 billion or more, over 20-odd years, as thousands of North Koreans died beyond our view and …

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Appeasement Cyberwar Terrorism (NK)

To prevent a larger hostage crisis, shut PUST down now — all of it.

The news that North Korea arrested its third American hostage over the weekend ought to change the shape of our discussion about PUST, the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology. Kim Sang-duk, a U.S. citizen and professor at the Yanbian University of Science and Technology (YUST) in Yanji, China, was detained in North Korea on Saturday at …

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Appeasement Diplomacy

North Korea should negotiate with the U.S.: No Rodong Sinmun op-ed, ever

This was supposed to be a big week for talk-to-North-Korea crowd, a constituency that’s well-represented in certain academic circles and op-ed pages … and pretty much nowhere else. Track 1.5 talks between current North Korean diplomats and former U.S. diplomats were supposed to begin tomorrow — in Washington, no less. This aroused certain Nobel Peace …

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Appeasement Diplomacy

There’s no appeasing North Korea

North Korea has violated or summarily withdrawn from an armistice, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, two IAEA safeguards agreements, an inter-Korean denuclearization agreement, two agreed frameworks, a joint denuclearization statement, the Leap Day agreement, and six U.N. Security Council resolutions — and yet, the most stubborn “engagers” of Pyongyang look on this clear historical record and …

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Appeasement Diplomacy

Pyongyang’s peace trap: What is N. Korea’s asking price, and who will pay it?

In 1994, one might have been forgiven for believing that for the right price, an isolated, famine-stricken, and potentially unstable regime in Pyongyang might have agreed to trade a nascent nuclear weapons program for the financial foundations of a new stability. Much harder to accept, given subsequent experience, is how the Bush administration could have …

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An Alliance? Anti-Americanism Appeasement Censorship Democracy Diplomacy Korean Society

What victory looks like from Pyongyang (Parts 1 and 2)

Part 1 David Straub’s “Anti-Americanism in Democratizing South Korea” has resonated with me in several ways, but none of them more than Straub’s deep ambivalence about Korea in the late 1990s and early 2000s, a time when I also served there as a young Army officer. Straub admits that in writing his book, he struggled …

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Appeasement Sanctions

Andrei Lankov doesn’t really know if North Korea sanctions are working

It’s no secret that I’ve been a skeptic of “engagement” with Pyongyang from the very beginning, but I’ve always had a soft spot for Andrei Lankov. His Korea Times columns, his book, and his other writings on social, historical, and political matters have been so useful that I often cite them, despite his unrealized predictions or the …

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Appeasement Diplomacy

Obama Administration’s “peace treaty” grasp explains its lax enforcement of N. Korea sanctions

For years, friends have asked me why the Obama Administration hasn’t made a serious effort to enforce sanctions against North Korea when we know they’ve worked before. I’ve resisted most temptations to psychoanalyze or speculate, but when pressed, I’ve supposed that the administration might have thought that a deal was still possible, however long the …

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Appeasement Border Control Capitalism Engagement Refugees Sunshine

Inter-Korean phone calls can keep the promises of the Sunshine Policy

Twenty years of state-to-state engagement between North and South Korea have not lived up to Kim Dae-Jung’s promises. Pyongyang has taken Seoul’s money, nuked up, and periodically attacked South Korea for good measure. Rather than reforming, it has invested heavily in sealing its borders. Pyongyang sustains itself on foreign hard currency, even as it cuts off …

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Appeasement Kaesong Korean War II North-South Propaganda ROK Military Sunshine Useful Idiocy

North Korean Men Cross DMZ (and plant land mines)

By now, you’ve read that South Korea’s government has accused the North Korean military of sending soldiers across the DMZ to plant mines near South Korean guard posts, an act that blew the legs off two South Korean soldiers last week. The two South Koreans, both staff sergeants, triggered the mines last Tuesday just outside …

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