ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on February 23rd, 2012 at 7:21 am

US & North Korea Begin Kabuki Theater Talks To Dismantle Nuclear Program

Here we go again:

North Korean First Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan, right, arrives at Beijing's Capital International Airport, China, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012. North Korea's top nuclear envoy arrived in Beijing ahead of important nuclear talks with the United States

A U.S nuclear envoy said Thursday he held substantive talks with North Korea on dismantling Pyongyang’s nuclear programs in return for aid and would continue the negotiations into second day.

The discussions — the first since the death of the North’s longtime leader Kim Jong Il — could provide signs of whether North Korea’s new government is ready to agree to steps demanded by Washington and Pyongyang’s neighbors to restart broader international disarmament talks, which are meant to provide aid and diplomatic concessions in return for the North abandoning its nuclear weapons programs.  [Associated Press]

It may be a new leader in North Korea, but expect more of the same from both North Korea and the US sides.  The North Koreans are never going to abandon their nuclear weapons and the US knows this.  However, the US has no better ideas on what to do about North Korea and thus talks become the goal to make it look like progress is being made.  In return for behaving and agreeing to talks North Korea gets aid while at the same time covertly continuing to work on their nuclear program.  When the talks happen expect some agreement like we saw before the death of Kim Jong-il where the North Koreans agree to something like suspending their uranium program that makes it look like the US achieved something even though they achieved little because the North Koreans can continue to work on their plutonium program instead to build nuclear weapons.  It is the same thing for their missile program, expect some statement saying the North Koreans will suspend ICBM testing, but this means little because instead of testing an ICBM they will just call it a space launch vehicle.

Everyone knows this is all kabuki theater, but everyone plays along so the US can pretend progress is being made, especially in an election year and the North Koreans can continue to develop their weapons programs and receive aid at the same time.  The South Koreans also play along with all of this because it keeps the peninsula stable which means their economy continues to grow.  The Chinese also like to play along because such a deal ensures the stability of the North Korean regime as well as is ultimately less aid they need to pay to keep the regime a float.  So bottom line all the relevant players are happy except of course the tens of thousands of people stuck in North Koreans gulags and even more that are malnourished in the country, but who cares about them?

Anyway with that all said, I would not be surprised if in the near term the North Koreans try to increase tensions, likely with a missile test in an effort to show Kim Jong-un standing up to the US before agreeing to the inevitable kabuki theater deal.  Such a scenario makes it look like the Kim Jong-un made the evil Yankee imperialists submit to his demands for tribute due to the fear of his great military achievement.  Like I said before this is all kabuki theater, but no one else has any better ideas so everyone just plays along.

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8
  • Glans
    4:50 pm on February 23rd, 2012 1

    I don’t think aiding North Korea would help Obama’s re-election campaign.

  • Maui
    5:37 pm on February 23rd, 2012 2

    Spot on ;-)

  • Avatar of GI KoreaGI Korea
    6:34 pm on February 23rd, 2012 3

    If a deal is reached it will be sold to the public as a great diplomatic achievement by the Obama administration just like what the Bush administration did when they signed their kubuki deal. However, I think the Obama administration isn’t going to get much credit from the electorate for it because everyone has seen this play out before, but I think they just don’t want North Korea to act up before the election.

  • Leon LaPorte
    8:08 pm on February 23rd, 2012 4

    3. The electorate isn’t concerned about norK, man. We haven’t had a budget in what, 3 years? We’re trillions in debt. Our “leaders” won’t lead nor get out of the way. In the meantime everyone is concerned about who’s in what flavor of sub-cult and so forth. Santorum is invoking SATAN for god’s sake. It’s frightening and sad.

    This is a minor blip on the radar, which has been turned off and neglected. Go back to watching American Idol… Oh wait, Piers Morgan is talking to Bobby Browns ex-mistresses cousins baby momma’s next door neighbor, who has a friend, about the possibility that Whitney might have been a crack-whore. They’re dedicating the whole hour to it! Gotta run. Ta ta.

  • Teadrinker
    8:57 pm on February 23rd, 2012 5

    A complete waste of time. It’s North Korea’s only bargaining chip. Why would they give it up? Besides, by doing so it would bring into question their “military first” policy, which is little more than a subterfuge, a means for the dictatorship to distance itself from the mess its created out of the local economy.

  • Leon LaPorte
    9:25 pm on February 23rd, 2012 6

    Didn’t the norK’s just threaten to attack the ROK a few days ago? What is wrong with the South. I would compare them to our government but at least they are building roads and seem to be able to run a somewhat prosperous society. But this silliness with the norK’s. Ignore them.

  • Glans
    9:40 pm on February 23rd, 2012 7

    If Obama aids North Korea, the Republicans will denounce him as an appeaser. I know, they’re already doing that, but this time they’d be right.

  • Glans
    3:22 am on May 16th, 2012 8

    Kodak – the film and camera company – had highly enriched uranium for thirty years. It used the stuff in a californium neutron flux multiplier, for scanning and testing other materials. Dugald McConnell and Brian Todd report for CNN.

    What is Fusion 2012 all about? “Finding the good in every situation and reaching out to those who are different from you,” as Karen Kroll reports for FinancialOperations.

 

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