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April 6, 2009
Diplomacy should trump name-calling in dealing with Korea

The Musudan Ri missle launch facility. Photo: DigitalGlobe

North Korea launched a rocket on Sunday, but failed to put a satellite into orbit as hoped.

Worldfocus editorial consultant Peter Eisner, the former deputy foreign editor of the Washington Post, discusses the implications of the launch and the changing face of the U.S. approach to North Korea.

It’s pretty early for the U.S. government to be raising the missile shields after the latest rocket launch by the saber rattlers in North Korea.

Viewed from one perspective, the North Korean government achieved nothing more than reminding President Obama that attention must be paid. That’s especially true since the weekend launch apparently failed — pity the poor engineers who weren’t able to launch the rocket’s payload into orbit.

The North Koreans are often transparent in their petulant style of demanding that they be placed front and center among all the other potboilers to be dealt with.

Predictably, calls from the right demanded new sanctions against North Korea for firing the missile over the Pacific. But even the Bush administration, unaccustomed as it was to choosing diplomacy over threats and war, learned that engaging the Pyongyang government in talks was the most fruitful means of reaching peaceful objectives.

The Bush administration scored one of its only successes in international relations when Ambassador John Bolton was shoved aside in 2005 in favor of Christopher R. Hill as chief representative to the six-party international talks aimed at resolving the North Korean nuclear problem.

Bolton dealt with North Korea by stringing together insults against Kim Jong Il (he called the dear leader “a tyrannical rogue” and said life in North Korea was “a hellish nightmare.” North Korea was happy to respond by calling him “human scum” and a “bloodsucker.”) It may be fun to engage in name-calling, but Hill met with more success on decreasing tensions when he visited Pyongyang and spoke respectfully with North Korean officials.

Hill has now taken the post of U.S. ambassador to Iraq. North Korea is serious business and it is in everyone’s interest for the new representative to the talks, Ambassador Stephen W. Bosworth, to dig in and follow through on the six-party talks. North Korea’s salvo is a strident reminder to the new president that it wants priority on his list of action items.

– Peter Eisner




Me thinx that the situation is much like a poker game… it’s a stand-off as chips move back and forth.. on the one side there’s the illusion that S. Korea is totally controlled as a puppet-government by the US. On the other side the US has to give all appearances that this is not true at all– some have been critical on this point by the presense of troops still there. If this really is a poker game of diplomacy:
A. The US must give all appearances that S. Korea is not one of the USA’s puppet-governments because the South can frustrate “peace” talks just as easily as the North in the sense the South refuses to be seen as just that.
B. The North must understand that even if total re-unification took place that further development of weaponry in the region may be seen dimly by China who already stages many, many countries on her borders. Why would she want one more (an unpredictable re-unified Korea)? So, the North must hold those reigns tightly as not to produce a re-unified threat to China– who doesn’t like people playing in her back yard with military build-up (remember- leading to a re-unified Korea- it’s a whole different animal for China). It is for sure not just the USA, South, North, & Japan– China is a major, major player her and I can’t blame her one bit for not wanting anything unstable on her borders.


Great Article


Diplomacy with North Koreans as a group may need to be handled delicately as with any individual South Korean…
showing firmness in negotiating attempts
to know–with a certain Knowledge:
not all of what is seen is, necessarily,
what is present in the dynasties of, seemingly apparent, ongoing actualities.
Diplomacy may need to present a reflection of understanding using the Mirror of the DMZ as it concerns the nature of Satellite Images involved in the bipartite Form of a Single Fine though Dividing Line which will, still: be capable of separating the Whole Image into two streams of Thinking or Mind-Threads of River-Flowing Thought which consist:
(1) of being and remaining aware of those molecularly minute aspects which are ever, seemingly, obvious (not to the naked eye, necessarily; but, through the Mind’s Inner-Eye Process of subconciously detailing what is conciously observed within the circular confinements of the ‘microscope-lens’ Resolutions
of often fragmented yet somehow connected Perceptions) but are ever, disconcertingly, subject to taints of long-held, long cherished philosophies, propagandas and ideologies, previously formed,
in the establishment of post-(Korean) war reclusory systems and…
(2) of being constantly aware of matters latent in the atmospheric layers/tunnels/networks of hidden circumstances which present themselves–one circumstance into many at a time, prismatically–to the Understanding which fragments into the potential skill-sets for use in the varying Scenarios involved and for use of application into creating different resolutions of diplomatic colors– as varied and juxtaposing levels of differing personalities often reveal objective truth-seeking concerns which may, still: be sewn–thread-like–into a greater tapestry involving certain diverse styles of Unity while, continually, recognizing an inherent residue of the militancy often involved
in the process of coloration of the differing threads of the regions denoting the areas defined by the demilitatized zone of the psyche which has long depicted a Mirror Image of the ongoing national interests of the Korean people who are, subjectively, ever desiring a sense of Unity while they yet, are remaining, objectively, divided…as can be seen even in the early ancient periods of Korean history in the matters relating to the different areas of dynasties/kingdoms even among the same species of

Peter Eisner is an editorial consultant with Worldfocus and a 30-year veteran of international news. He has been an editor and foreign correspondent at The Washington Post, Newsday and The Associated Press. He co-authored “The Italian Letter,” which details fraudulent intelligence leading up to the Iraq War. He was founder and president of Newscom, an international online news service, and speaks Spanish and Portuguese.

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