Monday, June 08, 2009


The estimable China Hand, who blogs at China Matters has an optimistic post there on the US posture towards North Korea.

Since I've been pulled in the opposite direction by the latest events, I was somewhat surprised by his take.

Read it yourself, please, but here's the punchline:
In other words, I see the prospect for some systematic “Nixon Goes to China” diplomatic engagement, rather than another session of ritualized extortion centered on Kim Jung Il’s nuclear program.
If that is true, then the following paragraph makes some sense with all the hostile rhetoric that is now coming from Washington:
We’ll see if the Obama administration can display the requisite ritualized aggression at the UN Security Council needed to deflect Republican charges of capitulation and appeasement.
The daily threats to put North Korea on the 'terror list', to stop and search their ships, and to impose new financial sanctions would then be primarily aimed at stopping the Rethugs from gumming up the works of a new diplomatic breakthrough. We shall see.


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