Friday, October 20, 2006

When North Korea starts worrying about its image...

Gijeong-dong (DMZ), North Korea
(Image from Wikipedia)

Kim Jong-il must have realized that he's not getting his more reasonable side aired in the Western media, so he's let that shifty-eyed talking head of the DMZ, General Ri Chan-bok, 'splain things about life in wartime to CNN's Diane Sawyer:
Bok to Sawyer: N. Korea Has No Terror Ties
No terror ties? That's good to know. Of course, this is the same Ri Chan-bok who in 2005 ("Pyongyang reveals its hand," Asia Times Online, May 21, 2005) assured Selig Harrrison that:
There's no need for a [nuclear] test, and we don't want to have one, even one underground, because of the fallout.
Well, they had one anyway, didn't they, and the worldwide fallout has indeed been bad -- bad enough to force General Bok to go on his charm offensive and utter charmingly offensive things like:
War is inevitable.... Here, on the peninsula.
Inevitable, that is, if the sanctions continue in an effort to force the North "to kneel down." Well, I hope that Bok's as wrong about war's inevitability as he was about the North not wanting to test its nuclear weapons.

Bok also said -- speaking not only for himself but for all the people of North Korea -- that President Bush should stop dissing the DPRK with his talk about it being "the axis of evil," "the outpost of tyranny," and "an unacceptable government that makes its own people hungry."

I don't recall Bush recently using the expression "axis of evil," but I'd agree with General Bok that Bush shouldn't have used the word "axis" four years ago because Iraq, Iran, and North Korea have never turned around a common axis. The plural form, "axes," would be more precise. Good call, Bok.

For whatever it's worth, Bok also claimed that the North doesn't insist on the bilateral talks with the U.S. that it's been insisting on but is willing to return to the six-party talks that it's been refusing to attend ... if the sanctions are lifted.

Sanctions, eh? I guess that Kim Jong-il must be running out of cognac.



At 12:44 PM, Blogger Jessica said...

Maybe Bush confused his foreign policy with the board game?

Forgive the inappropriate metaphor, but what is the fallout of last week's test among South Koreans? I wonder in many ways what exactly is being tested.

Wishing you peace.

At 12:53 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Maybe, Jessica, or he might have been thinking in more theological terms ... or both.

The South Koreans are divided between those who blame the U.S. and those who blame Kim Jong-il. I don't recall the exact percentages.

I think that the North is sending multiple messages -- with one stiff message being directed at China (which you might have read about some posts back).

Thanks for the wish for peace.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 10:38 PM, Blogger Al-Ozarka said...

"...because Iraq, Iran, and North Korea have never turned around a common axis."

Umm...uh...."Death to America!"? "Give us what we want or we'll give you what you DON'T want"?

Bush, however many mistakes he has made, was dead-on accurate about the axis, IMH(cough, cough)O. It has sure flushed them out and into action. We can now SEE our enemies for who and what they truly are.

If Americans could only see its enemy within...

But Ahm jest an ignernt heelbeely.

At 10:42 PM, Blogger Al-Ozarka said...

BTW, Jeffery--your "China" theory seems to be emerging as more than just a theory.
I'm glad you're here, mate! (or there... heck! I'm glad you're ANYWHERE!)

You are a teacher.

At 6:11 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Daddio, I meant that the three countries weren't aligned ideologically and materially supporting each other and thus didn't have a common axis in the sense that the WWII Axis Powers had one ... assuming that this is what Bush meant (which is how I took his words at the time).

As for China, we'll see what happens. I've seen some reports that North Korea 'regrets' having tested its nuclear 'bomblet' -- probably because they're worried about China cutting off the energy supply. The North Koreans can talk big, but they don't really have the power to carry through on their boasts.

Jeffery Hodges

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