Saturday, February 2, 2013

Time for a reboot with North Korea


Where should we begin with this other than Governor Richardson is the one who needs to get the boot.  Does he think north Korea is his pet project, something he can toy with?  

Some excerpts:

The status of relations among North Korea, the United States and the rest of the Asian peninsula countries is fraught. Clearly we all see the world in radically different ways. Changing the course of these relations will take courageous leadership.

The "rest of the Asian peninsula" is the Republic of Korea – are relations "fraught" between the US and the ROK?  (Cheap shot I know as I am sure he means relations between north and South Korea are "fraught.")
Third, the North Korean leader is not the only freshman in the region. New leadership in South Korea, China and Japan points to new opportunities. 
I find it either disingenuous or disrespectful to put Park Guen-hye, Shinzo Abe and Xi Jinping in the same category as "freshmen" leaders.  All three have much more political and leadership experience than Kim Jong-un has.

While I am fully supportive of dialogue and diplomacy and agree that we should use it as a first resort, it unfortunately will not achieve what Governor Richardson thinks it will because he is making the fundamentally flawed assumption that Kim Jong-un does want to reform and open up and make economic improvements to the north.  He bases his analysis on the words of Kim Jong-un and the regime propaganda (which we should always pay attention to).  In effect he is trusting Kim Jong-un.  This of course reminds me of the line paraphrased from the epic film, Animal House: "you [screwed] up… you trusted us."
V/R
Dave

Opinions

Time for a reboot with North Korea
  • By Bill Richardson and Mickey BergmanPublished: February 1
Bill Richardson, a former governor of New Mexico, was energy secretary and the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations during the Clinton administration. Mickey Bergman is senior adviser to the Richardson Center for Global Engagement and executive director of the Aspen Institute Global Alliances Program.

At night at the Kobangsan Guest House in Pyongyang, North Korea, there is not much to do before falling asleep. There is no network for cellphones or Internet for laptops to connect to. North Korean television broadcasts a limited number of hours a day. It airs a loop of propaganda clips and a replay of a speech by Kim Jong Eun, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of his grandfather, Kim Il Sung. The young leader is shown saying now that security has been guaranteed by a successful satellite launch and a nuclear test — a combination that, in his eyes, sets sufficient deterrence from foreign hostilities and invasion, a fear deeply ingrained in North Koreans’ consciousness — the nation’s attention can turn to economic growth.

Our delegation to North Korea heard a similar message from government officials. But while there is great skepticism about what is said in private diplomatic meetings, there is less doubt when the leader speaks to his public directly, carrying a similar message, three times a day every day. The leader is preparing his people for what is coming next.

Unfortunately, to Kim Jong Eun the shift in focus to economic development is reversible. His representatives emphasized to us that if the United States pursues additional sanctions in the United Nations, an act the North Koreans perceive as hostile, they will retaliate, threatening yet another nuclear test.

Indeed, in recent days we have heard new public threats of nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches. During our visit, Eric Schmidt, the co-leader of our delegation and the executive chairman of Google, spoke about the advantages of adopting the Internet and increased mobile technology. His message was well-received by officials, scientists and students. But economic development, access to technology and progress don’t go together with nuclear threats. These threats lead to increased isolation, decreased international aid and freezes in technological progress.

The status of relations among North Korea, the United States and the rest of the Asian peninsula countries is fraught. Clearly we all see the world in radically different ways. Changing the course of these relations will take courageous leadership.
(Continued at the link below)

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