‘Constructive and businesslike’ says a US department of state communiqué after two days of ‘exploratory talks’ with North Korea. The meaning is clear from the bland, bureaucratic formula:
Behind this assessment is that the US has not found the DPRK ‘sincere’ in discussing the North’s nuclear and rocket programmes as a precondition to restarting the orphaned six party talks in Beijing.
America’s position is a series of policy papers reflecting not only a refusal to engage in the give and take of diplomacy but also to turn the screws on North Korea to fold and say ‘oh Lord, I am sinner and now repent!’
The Obama administration’s ‘dig in the heels’ macho stance is a mirror image of South Korea’s Lee Myung bak’s regime. The common, shared attitude of these two allies reminds us of two bullies bragging and blustering in a playground sandbox to scare a smaller and supposedly weaker kid, to give up his money and his marbles.
Well, they picked on the wrong ‘victim’. Neither the US nor South Korea have like the Bourbons of old, ‘learnt nothing and forgot everything’ after more than 60 years dealing with the North in one way or another.
The North Koreans baulk at the US demand give up the DPRK’s nuclear programme, after which the US and South Korea will ‘reward’ North Korea with visions of sugar plums and fairies and a land of wonders and delight’.
Kim Jong il’s representatives are not impressed, let alone amused by loudly expressed arrogant empty promises. They, too, are not wet behind the ears in dealing with the US and South Korea. They well know with whom they are dealing and wise to their wiles and naivety in diplomacy.
Kim Jong il has for a long while called for negotiations with the US with no preconditions, but in spite of letters of his transmitted to the White House by two former American presidents and Obama’s own state department senior staff, the American position remains little modified.
As GaumDiary pointed out, the US team talking to Kim Gye gwan and his team, is made up of people who signed on to a Council on Foreign Relations’ report on Korea explicating recommending to the Obama White House to ‘roll back North Korea’.
‘Roll back’ is a throw back phrase to the Cold War: its meaning is clear: defeat Communist regimes. And that is, and has been, America’s position that has no failed, even though the world’s ‘only super power’ pushed through ‘sanctions, boycotts, withheld food from NGOs working in Korea’, among other ploys. And this objective is fully shared by Lee Myung bak whose term in office ends in 2012 and without the opportunity to run again for the Blue House.
And there we are at a ‘status quo ante’. Once again the US has failed to show leadership on the matter of a divided Korea. North Korea is not surprised how predictable Obama and Lee are, how small and poorly organized the joint US ROK offensive is; nevertheless that wont stop the DPRK from trying to dissipate the distrust to reach a way to resolve the long standing issues in the divided Korean peninsula..