<\body> Stories in America: Republican: Bush's Blunder in North Korea

Monday, October 09, 2006

Republican: Bush's Blunder in North Korea

Donald Gregg was a CIA official since 1951 and a liaison to President Carter's National Security Council and, National Security Advisor to Vice President George H.W. Bush and U.S. ambassador to South Korea from 1989 to 1993. He's now chairman of the board of the Korea Society:
First: Don't panic. Kim Jong Il's objective is survival and eventual change in North Korea, not suicide. The diplomatic situation in Northeast Asia will be immensely complicated by the North Korea test, which I think was a huge mistake on their part, but missiles are not about to start flying.

The test may indicate the rise in influence of a hard-line faction in the KPA, which is holding sway, at least for now, over others more interested in transformational change in NK. The initiation of a strong bilateral dialogue between NK and the US would strengthen the moderates, and ease the situation in general, but that is not at all likely to happen.

Second: Why won't the Bush administration talk bilaterally and substantively with NK, as the Brits (and eventually the US) did with Libya? Because the Bush administration sees diplomacy as something to be engaged in with another country as a reward for that country's good behavior. They seem not to see diplomacy as a tool to be used with antagonistic countries or parties, that might bring about an improvement in the behaviour of such entities, and a resolution to the issues that trouble us. Thus we do not talk to Iran, Syria, Hizballah or North Korea. We only talk to our friends -- a huge mistake.


At 10/10/2006 8:58 AM, Blogger Jack Boo said...

Keep this in mind next time the members of the Cult of Diplomacy try to convince you that all the world's problems can be solved with talk...

"In 1994, the government of North Korea promised the Clinton Administration that its nuclear program would be shut down. In 2002, North Korea admitted that it had restarted its nuclear program in direct violation of that agreement.

Why did this diplomatic effort fail? Well, for one, it presumed that North Korea could be trusted to keep its promises. And that's often the trouble with diplomatic attempts to rein in totalitarian regimes. Such agreements are based purely on the hope that you can trust the word of a tyrant. Going back through history, how many tyrants have proven themselves to be trustworthy?

Thanks to the Clinton Administration, North Korea had eight years to advance its nuclear program in secret. If they hadn't been naive enough to believe that Kim Jung Il could be trusted, perhaps North Korea's nuclear program could have been stopped before it was too late. Now it is too late; North Korea has nuclear weapons, and it appears likely that they've had nukes for several years now. That greatly constrains our options in dealing with North Korea."

At 10/17/2006 12:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the three years of the Korean War, almost as many US soldiers died as in the entire Vietnam war. Diplomacy means people are talking instead of killing each other.

Buy hey, I suspect you're probably not a fan of Bill Clinton so I'll throw you a bone. You missed a key fact in this recent history (don't feel bad, most of the US media has also missed it). Part of that agreement in '94 was that the US would take over as the main supplier of heavy oil to NK, which the Soviets had been supplying and which the NK needed to run many of their power plants. When famine hit NK a year or so later, Clinton saw it as an opportunity to bring down the Kim regime so he promptly cancelled the heavy oil, leaving the NK stranded and basically going back on the deal. NK started firing up their nuclear power plants because, get this, they wanted electricity and stuff like that. Can you imagine?! Well Clinton's attempt at regime change backfired because it gave NK the most rational reason to start producing nuclear fuel and they ended up getting their heavy oil from China. And the regime is still standing. You see, Jack, it was Clinton expressing his warmongering conservative side, essentially saying what you just said 'to hell with diplomacy' that screwed the deal up. That should make you happy, sort of.


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