Mr. Kerry's lack of imagination bodes well for Pyongyang's goal of perfecting its nuclear and missile capabilities, and bodes ill for the security of northeast Asia. There can no longer be any realistic hope that the North will denuclearize.
Moreover, China has refused to isolate the regime despite Washington's repeated pleas for joint action. Yes, some Americans with close ties to China now say that they've never seen Beijing so frustrated with Pyongyang. But there is no indication that new leader Xi Jinping is considering serious sanctions against the North or independent economic and political pressure.
Committed to a failed negotiation strategy, the U.S. government has all but assured the Kim regime of its safety so long as it doesn't attack the South or Japan. That means negotiations are doomed from the beginning.
The Obama administration's willingness to return to talks under the "right" conditions plays perfectly into this North Korean strategy of undermining collective resolve. The longer Washington sticks to a failed policy, the more confident Pyongyang grows in its survival. It will figure out a way to proliferate WMDs, likely with Beijing looking the other way.
The longer Washington sticks to a failed policy, the more confident Pyongyang grows in its survival.
- OPINION ASIA
- May 1, 2013, 12:26 p.m. ET