• Home
  • About
  • Guest Post

    What part of Roh don’t you understand?

    ROK President Roh Moo-hyun addressed South Korean residents in Germany this week and made some statements that are…well, here’s what he said:

    “North Korea is willing to give up its nuclear programs,” Roh told the meeting in Germany.

    He said Pyongyang and Washington distrusted each other but were in agreement on how to resolve the problem — security guarantees and economic aid for the North in return for dismantling its nuclear programs.

    “They don’t seem to trust each other,” Roh said. “But distrust is not a problem of substance, so it will be resolved if you talk long enough,” he said.

    Is that a fact? I understand that he was probably trying to soothe the homefolks–and the part about not encouraging the collapse of the DPRK certainly makes sense, since it would do all kinds of nasty things to the ROK economy–but whenever a politician says something wacky, there’s always a scary chance that he actually believes it. I mean, maybe the connotation is different in Korean, but “distrust is not a problem of substance” strikes me as quixotic in this situation. So does “North Korea is willing to give up its nuclear programs.”

    BTW, did you hear what Condi said about the current state of the Axis of Evil? I liked this part: “I do think the North Koreans have been, frankly, a little bit disappointed that people are not jumping up and down and running around with their hair on fire because (they) have been making these pronouncements.” Yes. Laboring under the assumption that we’ll actually convince North Korea to dump its nuclear arms program would be pretty dimwitted, but there’s a line to be trod: we can’t freak out at its antics, but working to keep negotiations going makes the DPRK feel respected and decreases the chances that it’s going to do anything psycho on an international level.

    Leave a Reply