That trick never works!
Posted by aogTuesday, 14 January 2003 at 19:47
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Another silly article
about how President Bush is the problem in the negotiations with North Korea. It actually has some interesting information about Bill Richardson and why it's not really surprising that he got involved. That case is well made
As a U.S. congressman in the 1990s, Richardson went to Pyongyang three times. In 1994, after a U.S. Army helicopter was shot down after accidentally crossing the DMZ, he negotiated the release of the pilot's remains. (The pilot was one of his constituents.) In 1996, partly on the basis of this contact, Richardson was called on to play an active role in hammering out a proposal for "Four-Party Talks," in which the two Koreas, China, and the United States might at last settle the remaining issues of the 1950-53 war. (The talks broke down when a North Korean submarine ran aground in South Korean waters.) Finally, that same year, Richardson negotiated the release of Evan Hunziker, an American peace activist who was arrested as a spy after trying to swim across the Yalu River. Richardson also used the occasion to inform the North Koreans of President Clinton's interest in arranging formal bilateral meetings.
What the author fails to wonder about is why it is in the best interests of the US to cooperate. The desired endpoint seems to be that the North Koreans gives us the same thing they've given us before (an end to their nuclear weapons development) and we give them more stuff. There is no discussion of why the North Koreans would follow the agreement this time ("Hey, Rocky, watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat!") and how we would know if North Korea didn't. But if the lack of any evidence that North Korea upholds any of its agreements isn't the reason Bush has been refusing to negotiate, what is? Why, personal antipathy to that great statesman Bill Clinton! The author expresses this as the hope that
Maybe, just maybe, Bush will overcome his allergy to anything touched by Clinton and give this deal a try
Why yes, since the last deal worked out so
well for the US, why not do the same thing again? And, since the North Koreans are the ones who violated the agreement, why shouldn't we help them by negotiating and bribing them back to the status quo ante? Any objections are just Clinton-hating. It's all so clear now.