Friday, August 29, 2003

almighty Drudge's Korea link

This article is quite interesting. I was all set to leave when I saw this.

Some highlights:

BEIJING - North Korea told a six-nation conference that it has nuclear weapons and has plans to test one, a U.S. official said Thursday. However, other participants said delegates agreed on the need for a second round of talks.

Any wishful thinkers (like Silent Running) still want to whimper that NK might be bluffing about nukes? Willing to take that chance?

The remarks by North Korean Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Yong Il set a negative tone at the conference and raised questions about the success of the negotiations, which were scheduled to conclude Friday morning.

Kim at one point accused delegates from Russia and Japan of lying at the instruction of the United States when they tried to point out positive aspects of the American presentation, according to a U.S. official in Washington, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Well, we did expect some Scarlett O'Hara-style fainting spells and other sundry histrionics, yes? If the NK delegates faint, make like you're gonna catch them, then suddenly turn away and let them thud. Bastards.

The North Korean said his country was maintaining its position because the United States clearly had no intention of abandoning its hostile policy toward North Korea, the official said.

The statements, coming on the second day of a three-day conference, startled the delegates and left the Chinese representative visibly angry, the official said.

Nevertheless, the diplomats agreed on the need to hold more such talks and probably will, a South Korean official said.

Oh. Joy. Another theater production that'll cost several million bucks to send delegates out of their way for more fainting spells and seizures. Wake up, the rest of you! NK needs stronger therapy than time-outs and group hugs.

The current round of talks are scheduled to end Friday after three days. The United States, North and South Korea (news - web sites), Russia, Japan and China are trying to balance U.S. demands for an end to North Korea's nuclear program and the communist nation's insistence on a nonaggression treaty with Washington and humanitarian aid.

"There is a consensus that the process of six-party talks should continue and is useful," said Wie Sung-rak, director-general of the South Korean Foreign Ministry's North American Affairs Bureau. Like other delegates from the talks, he chose his words carefully to avoid suggesting a formal agreement had been made.

Asked to verify a Russian media report that all six would meet again within two months, he said: "It's possible, but you have to wait until tomorrow morning."

Is the suspense killing you as much as it's killing me?

Pyongyang had long demanded one-on-one talks with the United States, but dropped its objections to the multilateral arrangement after Beijing agreed to host it.

Many believe North Korea wanted such direct talks to increase its standing in East Asia and to convey its demands directly to the United States. Washington, though, wanted the opposite and said the situation affected the entire region and should be dealt with multilaterally.

Washington was and remains correct on this point.

In a separate meeting after Thursday's talks adjourned, Japan urged North Korea to let the children of five Japanese citizens kidnapped and spirited to North Korea years ago join their parents, who were permitted last year to return to their homeland.

North Korea, however, reiterated its assertion that Japan had broken a promise by not returning the five abductees to Pyongyang, according to a statement by the Japanese government.

The kidnapping of Japanese citizens during the 1970s and 1980s by North Korea — to train its spies to assume false identities — has stalled efforts by the two countries to set up diplomatic relations and halted Japan's food aid to impoverished North Korea.

If the North Korean leadership had any honor in the East Asian or Western sense, they'd have locked themselves in a small concrete room and shot each other by now, leaving orders for their generals to submit to the authority of the South Korean Army. I doubt the Japanese diplomats, despite whatever outrage they may be expressing at NK's intransigence, are truly surprised. Koizumi's "ground-breaking" trip to NK should have been seen for what it was, a simple zig in a long pattern of deliberate NK zigzagging. This latest hissy fit is more of the same.

Japan cut off its aid? Well, yes, of course: after all, NK practices juch'ae ideology-- self-reliance! So... why is any aid being given? I think NK could use a real taste of what it means to be self-reliant. I also think that the US should sneak John Bolton in there with a frothing message: "Any nuclear test, any missile firing, any intercepted shipment of arms or drugs, will be viewed as an act of war." Language the assholes understand.

I'm not doing well with my kong-an, am I.

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