Thursday, June 25, 2009
No One is This Stupid, I Think
"Even before the mystifying Kim Jong Il took power in 1994, the outside world was trying mightily to figure out how the North Korean regime works. ... None of that offers much hope for change. North Korea is already the world's most isolated country; the idea that Kim Jong Il's regime even cares if its isolation 'deepens' is dubious at best. ... The fundamental notion underlying US diplomacy with Pyonyang since the Clinton era--a hawkish detour under George W. Bush notwithstanding--is that the North can be bribed. ... But following its latest test, the assumption that North Korea [NK] will be ultimately willing to negotiate away its nuclear program is under new scrutiny", my emphasis, Bill Powell and Stephen Kim at Time, 8 June 2009.
I never thought the US could bribe NK. If serious, we had to destroy NK's nuclear sites. What is mystifying here? In about 1964 Chairman Mao Zedong told the USSR China was the world's only country that could lose 300 million people in a war and still win. NK is of this mentality. NK doesn't care if it is isolated. I don't believe for a second Clinton thought NK could be bribed into doing anything. He and Bush just played "kick the can" with NK for 16 years and now we are where we are.