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Catfish and Cod
Friday, August 29, 2003
Who taught these bozos to negotiate?
(Link path: The Grey Lady [free and pointless registration required])

North Korea is still running their diplomatic corps according to Standard Operating Procedure: threaten the other side before doing anything else. Does goodwill translate into Korean?

China's representative was "visibly angry" at the inane gaffe. Talks will proceed nonetheless, but everyone now trusts the North Koreans that much less. The Norks are not negotiating in good faith, and everyone can now see that we were right not to trust them initially. It is China's duty as North Korea's patron state to control them and ensure peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. They were hoping (and may still hope!) that we will clean up their mess for them. But if they fail to do so, the consequences may be disastrous for China: a nuclear-armed Japan, perhaps, or American troops on the Chinese border. Worst of all, America might cut back on their imports from China; and China is in desperate need of our trade, for the money they are making in capitalization is one of the few things preventing a revolt from within the ranks.

China must act, now, to restrain North Korea. Half measures will not work: full threatening of the Nork lifeline (the supplies crossing the border) is the minimum force required. China may even need to mobilize its forces near the Nork border, as the Russians are doing. If the Norks test their nuke, war may become inevitable.