The DRPK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea aka North Korea] has long blown the trumpets of warning far and wide that the US and the ROK [Republic of Korea aka South Korea] have but one object and that is its demise, its burial for once and all. [Evem though North Korea now uses Twitter and Facebook, as well as the traditional tools of the media, it still uses a wooden language which to the outside world seems impossible to read. As such the justice of its cause and the presentation of its own case is more often than not ignored and ridiculed at worst. Nonetheless, with patience, one can grasp the kernel of truth to counter the war of words that the US and South Korea are waging against it.]
For a brief while it looked as though a thaw had occurred the US and South Korea's dealings with North Korea. This now lost silver age of detente of sorts lasted during the years of the Clinton presidency for many reasons and much thanks for former Jimmy Carter acting as a 'deus ex machina' to make long fire of some hardcore advisors of Bill Clinton from pressing the nuclear button. Mr. Carter met with Kim Il Song and returned with a signed statement which opened a dialogue with North Korea on its nuclear programme and a promise that the US would help build light water reactors in the North. But the sudden death of Kim Il Sung pushed this hope into the shadows with the assumption of the mantle of state by Kim Jong il and the horrible famine which gripped the DPRK, reviving the hope among policy makers that the DPRK would fall on its own sword. Well it did not. The high point of this thaw with the US came with the visit of US secretary of state Madeleine Albright to Pyongyang and her talks with Kim Jong il. It was hoped that Bill Clinton would visit the DPRK before the end of his second term in office in December 2000. He was ill advised by 'expert' Korea hands, so he didn't go. With George Bush in the White House
relations deteroriated quickly and led not only to a status quo ante but propelled North Korea into the nuclear club.
With the arrival of Kim Dae Jung in Seoul's Blue House conditions between the two Koreas improved rapidly. Mr. Kim went to Pyongyang and met Kim Jong il thereby ushering in the 'Sunshine Policy' and a Nobel peace prize for him, for his historic gesture. And thus a more hopeful policy promised to improve intra and inter Korean relations. Kim Dae Jung's successor Roh Moo hyun continued the Policy and he too went to Pyongyang, signed at least 24 accords further enlarging the opening with the North.
But with the election of Lee Myung bek in 2008 the lights of the 'Sunshine Policy' did not dim but were turned off. It was Mr. Lee's state intentions that he was going to give the DPRK his version of tough love. Known as 'Bulldozer', he lifted his version of confrontation with the North to a state level. He immediately abrogated signed agreements with the DPRK, diminished drastically food shipments to an agriculturally ravaged North to the point of denying it fertilisers; he allowed right wing groups to openly carry out propaganda against the North and in particular against the person of Kim Jong il which drew the DPRK's ire.
At the same time through diplomacy, economic sanctions, military manoeuvres, and heightened state and privately sponsored propaganda campaigns, 'Bulldozer' Lee began Cold Warrior style a campaign to carry out his stated intention of not only humbling North Korea but pushing it to the edge of collapse.
Now he has gone one step forward in proposing a special tax to finance the cost of reunification of the two Koreas with an eye on the DPRK's collapse.
Mr. Lee is smarting from his own humiliation of his bungling the 'Cheonan' sinking, which remains open as to its cause and who is to blame. For the South Korean president North Korea is the culprit. Yet questions as to its culpability remain as do the ROK's conduct in the matter.
The Obama administration has taken a stiff, hard line, no holds bared tack towards dealing with the DPRK almost from its very first days in office. No one has spoken with shrill terms more than US secretary of state Hillary Clinton and her team of advisors.
The US has encouraged the ROK's campaign against the DPRK. GuamDiary has spoken many times on the subject and encourages readers old and new to review these positings.
It has been obvious for a long time now that the US refrains, nay refuses to negotiate directly with North Korea; it is unwilling to end the Korean war through a peace treaty, and has twisted itself pretzel like out of diplomatic and military shape to come up with approaches which heighten tensions on the divided Korean peninsula which might tripwire renewed military conflict. It has tried to pressure China to do its bidding, but Beijing balked. In fact the US has no sense of history as it rushes to judgments which are dangerous.
This, to cite an example or two, is no more more evident in the publication of a CFR [Council on Foreign Relations] special study on 'US policy towards Korea', the fruit of deliberation of US 'experts' on Korea in and out of government, in think tanks, private universities, etc. Their weighty deliberations gave birth to a mouse: rather than a call for calmer heads and diplomatic solutions, this group of 24 'thinker's endorsed a policy of rollback. And in one swoop, they breathed life in Truman's forward policy of containment and revived the Cold War fears of sixty years ago.
Their recommendations in fact, we posit, simply mirror the US administrations' thinking on all front--diplomatic, economic, military, and propaganda.
Another example is that in spite of mouthing a desire to see the DPRK retake its seat at the six party talk on its nuclear programme, the US is pursuing military exercises with the ROK in waters dangerously near the DPRK's.
The hope of these two allies is easy to read: to stampede the DPRK into doing something foolish which would allow the US and ROK to flatten militarily the DPRK.
North Korea is on to their game and is playing a defensive game, with its cards close to its chest. It is also obvious that if North Korea does not fall for this obvious ploy, sanctions and propaganda will have the effect of hastening its collapse. But will it?
China has put Mme. Clinton on notice that it has purchase on the survival of the DPRK. Had she & her crowd in Foggy Bottom and the Pentagon really read and understood the history of the survival of the Communist Party of China, they would learn that China owes Kim Il Sung and thousands of Korean fighters who fought the Japanese in Northern China a debt for the Party's survival there. And China never welches like the US on what it owes its frineds.
So as the US joins the ROK in a second round of military exercises--this time close to the NLL which breathes on DPRK territorial waters, we see once again the Obama and Lee administrations donning warrior garb of tin soldiers looking for war. Not only war but this time it could result in atomic war!