Saturday, December 18, 2010

Bill Richardson in Pyongyang. Physician heal thyself!

New Mexico's governor Bill Richardson is again in Pyongyang at the invitation of the North Koreans.
Richardson is no stranger to the North Koreans. As a Clinton administration trouble shooter, he had gone to Pyongyang.
It is much to Kim Jong il & co.'s credit that they are calling on 'level headed' Americans who, as 'private citizens', hear North Korea's concerns about the increasing warlike initiatives coming from South Korea, ably assisted by the US, and the fear that the war initiatives of the Washington Seoul and now Tokyo axis can and may miscalculate and reignite the frozen 60 year old Korean War on a divide Korean peninsula.
Richardson met separately with vice minister Ri Yong ho and Kim Kye gwan, Pyongyang's chief nuclear envoy, who each in his own way, expressed high anxiety at the heightened war tom toms out of South Korea.
Judging this growing fear of war in the North as a "good sign", he counseled a display of great restraint, and a gesture that Pyongyang is willing to go yet another kilometre to resume discussions in Beijing on North Korea's nuclear programme.
It never came to Richardson's mind that the advice he 'preached' in Pyongyang would better be said in Washington. The Obama administration has made no bones about pursuing a muscular military approach, if not solution, to North Korea. To our way of thinking, Richardson has not the guts to cry out to the American president, 'physician heal thyself': shift from warlike measures to diplomacy to resolve tensions on the Korean peninsula!
GuamDiary does not read tea leaves, so all we are willing to advance is that any message the governor from New Mexico will carry back to president Obama will make long fire without any change in current US policy towards North Korea.
Selig Harrison, a senior fellow at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson Centre and over time frequent visitor, had preceded Richardson. The 'New York Times' published his striking proposal [13 December 2010] calling on Obama to redraw the NLL [Northern Limit Line]- which the US imposed after the Korean Armistice in 1953, and which North Korea never recognised - and draw it several kilometres further south in the China Sea. By doing this, the US scholar posited that heightened war tensions would abate, and not only that, it might encourage steps leading to a peace agreement which once and for all would put an end to the Korean War.
An unlikely chance. Sung Yong Lee, an adjunct professor at Tufts' Fletcher School of Diplomacy, had an opinion piece in "Asian Times Online" [17 December 2010] on the value and what he feels is efficient use of 'military' pressure by Washington, Seoul, and Tokyo on North Korea. His conceit is a reiteration of the CFR [Council on Foreign Relations] study on US policy for Korea. Lee, quite plainly, adds his voice to US North Korea clerisy calling for 'rolling back' North Korea by any means possible: diplomatically, economically, propagandistically, and military.
GuamDiary has never stinted from calling a spade a spade when it comes to the current reactionary policy which the US, South Korea, and now Japan are pushing to trump North Korea.
The political class in Washington, Seoul, and Tokyo are playing hard ball which when and if the ball turns into a boomerang will spell disaster and yet another US war in Asia.
It is high time for Obama to stop playing tin soldier and return to the real world of diplomacy.

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