US president Barack Obama [BHO]'s national security [NSC]advisor General James 'Jim' Jones likes to shun the public light. Would you say that he was almost as secretive as the DPRK's[Democratic People's Republic of Korea aka North Korea]Kim Jong il in this respect? Maybe. Maybe not. He did however choose to come out of the shadows yesterday, Sunday 9 August 2009, to appear not on one but three Sunday political affairs talk shows! This fact alone flashed across the pages of 'the Financial Times of London' pages and 'Al Jazeera English' website, but not in the authoritative 'New York Times'. You could hear the laughter across the globe at this startling news!
Citizen Clinton's 'surprise' visit to the DPRK brought the general before the tv cameras, to tell the American people that after 'debriefing' Mr. Clinton who spent some 195 minutes alone with Kim Jong il, discussing any number of issues undisclosed and publicly denied by the White House that he either handed over or recited a verbal message from BHO. What a piece of non news, excuse Guam Diary for saying so.
The photo flashed around of the world of Mr. Kim and Mr. Clinton sitting side by side, with the Clinton team standing behind them, told us as much.
General Jones' appearances did one thing: it put a break on the endless rumours mouthed by a complacent and lazy US media, punditocracy, and Korea hands in and out of government. Rumours fed by South Korean intelligence.
Now, it is no use denying Mr. Kim has recovered from a serious illness. He is much thinner, but he remains head of the DPRK. He's not dying of pancreatic cancer nor are his kidney failing him, as far as we know.
Consider the spin doctors in the US media who go off on a tear the moment they think for him and the networks or newspapers they are working for, will scoop the competitioChn. The sometimes lurid accounts might in some instances come out of Evelyn Waugh's 'Vile Bodies' or 'Scoop'. Make believe news. Fabricated News.
At times you wonder where US rate or taxpayers' monies have gone to train analysts, in Korean affairs. Consider the claims that we're dealing with an 'exotic' plant or beast or an unknowable state, a secretive, unchangeable society, an unfathomable danger to the west as though Kim Jong il's DPRK fits the description of Sax Rohmer's evil Dr. Fu Man Chu. Give us a break, fellows!
North Korea acts impulsively; there is no logic to its moves. Or the clever devils who play poker expertly that they outwit us, read the UES, at every turn. And so the easy, disingenuous crocodile tears flow uninterrupted.
Well for sure some ex CIA analysts do have a finger of a pulse in things North Koreans, and out of government have written articles which remain either unread or appear in journals with a limited readership; the Chinese and the Russians have a wealth of material on the DPRK. Some material is available in English, and Princeton's Woodrow Wilson Centre has tapped into Soviet archives and is translating documents which graduate students are working on but hardly hardly for public consumption, and more oft than not, the material translated disappears into the black hole of US governmental agencies and departments.
But Guam Diary like others do plum the web and find material which the US media ignore or choose not to publish. Guam Diary like others, amateur 'sleuths' or pros, find a rationality in the DPRK's pronouncement, more likely reactive to outside powers and events. Guam Diary like others, read books by scholars many formerly residing in the USSR or eastern 'people's democracies' who studies in Pyongyang and who know North Korea. Appreciations vary from outright hostility to mildly critical. But the info is there for those who wish to see it.
So whither the US after Citizen Clinton's visit? Well Jones spoke from the White House script: no rewards till Pyongyang returns to the six party talks which it repudiated after the US got the UN to impose sanctions on North Korea; until it lives up to agreements on denuclearising North Korea. Nowhere did we hear of Kim Jong il's new positions, calling for direct talks, to discuss all issues on the table. And so the merry go round continues.
Actually since BHO plays his cards close to his chest, we're in the dark. And so it's more imperative than ever to read, ask questions, and delve the 'rational' mind of an administration which many before it, really haven't a policy towards the DPRK when faced with newer conditions and reality.