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North Korea: Re-examining the Picture

Published on: June 20th 2009 16:35:40

The current serious nature, as well as the number of threats emanating from Pyongya ng, has occupied the policy level at the State Department and the White House in recent days. Indeed we have been told that apart from the Iranian elections, there has been nothing else on the President’s foreign affairs agenda. The most recent nuclear threats to South Korea have overshadowed the rocket launches, suspected nuclear test and the sentencing of the two American journalists. The anodyne public utterances of the Special Representative for North Korean Policy, Stephen Bosworth, to wit:  “To meet the challenges of North Korea’s recent actions, the United States is acting promptly and seriously through a four-pronged strategy: close regional consultation and cooperation, UN and national sanctions, appropriate defensive measures, and, if North Korea shows serious willingness, diplomatic engagement to negotiate a path to denuclearization,” mask the truth at this juncture which is that the U.S. knows that China holds the solution. A Senior State Department Official seized with the matter confided: “We do not want to see China and Japan collide over North Korea, but that is what could very well occur if Beijing does not act decisively with Pyongyang. Tokyo is not going to stand by much longer in the face of these constant provocations.” Needless to say, this is the last thing the Obama Administration wants or needs at this juncture.

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