It is an anachronism to say that the US has lost the north on its diplomatic compass when it comes to North Korea.
And this diplomatic disorder is no more obvious than by the presence of New Mexico govenor Bill Richardson's 'private visit' to Pyongyang to find a way to lessen growing tensions which have lead to an exchange of fire between South and North Korea along the NLL [Northern Limit Line].
'A private visit' by a prominent US official, in or out of government, is an indication of how deep a hole the Bush and Obama administions have dug to avoid dealing directly with Kim Jong il.
As GuamDiary noted, Richardson has called on Pyongyang to exercise 'great restraint', faced as it is by the provocative joint South Korean and US joint military exercises in the Yellow Sea within spitting distance of North Korean waters.
We have to ask why doesn't Obama muzzle his client, South Korean president Lee Myung bek, and sternly counsel him to 'exercise great restraint'?
The answer is 'blowing in the wind': the US firmly believes that North Korea is guilty, whereas its client South Korea is the innocent victim. If you took the time to follow the media trail--Asian and European--the the lines of blame point more and more in the direction of Seoul and Washington.
Happily, Kim Jong il has China and Russia in his corner. And since the UN Security Council has met to deal with the possibility of an outbreak again of war on the divided Korean peninsula, Pyongyang will escape a severe drubbing at the hands of the US which holds the Council's president's chair at present. We expect any draft text will bear the heavy of Washington, calling for the calming of waters, but blaming North Korea, by glossing over its own and Seoul's role in whipping up war hysteria.
GuamDiary suggests to its readers to follow its postings in keep track of the duplicitous role of the US and its client South Korea.
Now, let's look at what 'gifts' to the east that the mage Richardson brings to North Korea: one, a military hotline between Washington and Pyongyang, as well as a military commission composed of the US, North and South Koreas to monitor crises in the Yellow Sea.
Well, la di dah! Let's examine Richardson's role: here we have a 'private' citizen usurping the authority of the central government to suggest public policy! Now, if that ain't a kick in the head, Dr. Freud Washington sorely needs your services!
Had not the hawkish Lee Myung bek not kicked out the stool from under the 'Sunshine Policy', he torpedoed the agreement worked out by Kim Jung il and Roh Moo hyun for discussions in order to minimise incidents, civil or military, in the Yellow Sea.
Instead Lee aligned himself alongside the mad men in the Bush White House. The Obama administration retained many of these advisors and took on its own mad men who relished nothing more than teaching North Korea a lesson it rightly deserved, or so they thought.
The joke is on them and the venal US North Korea clerisy chorus who encouraged Washington's and Seoul's war party who is aching to give Pyongyang a well earned reprimand, without thinking through fallout of a strong reproof that would obtain.
And now, the fear of war looms in the corridors of US diplomacy. Yet Obama & co. are blind to the reason why we are seeing the situation in the Yellow Sea may very well spell 'open warfare'.
Thank goodness, cooler heads prevail in Pyongyang. They requested, it seems, the presence of Richardson who is not an unknown value in North Korea.
You have to wonder at the lack of imagination among the cold warriors in Washington and Seoul. A military commission has existed on the DMZ since 1953, so why duplication of effort? A hotline...there is one which Seoul doesn't use well or simply ignores.
And so we have US and Seoul chasing its own tail. They, in a swipe of the hand, ignore what already is in place. They engage in eyewash: they do this to deflect the blame they rightly deserve for a bankrupt policy towards North Korea.
The longer Washington and Seoul refuse to deal with North Korea and treat Pyongyang as an equal, the winds of war will not abate. And the fault lies not in Pyongyang but in Seoul and Washington.