Wednesday, April 13, 2005

No Unfriendly Superpowers, Please

North Korea wants Japan and the United States out of the regional talks. What web of bullshit is this based upon? Here's North Korea's transparent ploy from Globe and Mail:

"Since the United States lies across the Pacific Ocean and Japan is an island separated from the rest of Asia, they have no direct stake in the region's peace and security, the commentary said.

It also accused the United States of trying to provoke confrontations among Northeast Asian countries in order to gain the upper hand militarily in the region.

The state-run newspaper also for the first time mentioned South Korea's new government policy seeking a balancing role in the region, alleging it was 'causing discord with the United States.'"

Yeah, sure. There's also another choice quote by a DPRK, referring to Japan as a "vulgar and shameless political dwarf." Wow. First of all, I think it's amusing for North Korea to say Japan has no stake in regional piece when North Korea HAS FIRED MISSILES at Japan (well maybe not at, but in the general direction thereof). Also, another to say the United States has no direct stake when they've got troops sitting across the border.

North Korea has succeeded many times in manipulating the different countries involved, and this is another attempt at that. For a short history and what I'm basing my comments on, see Bridled Ambition, Negotiating on the Edge, and/or the most recent Nuclear North Korea. Everytime the U.S. has gone after North Korea about nukes, or whatever, North Korea has been exceedingly good at negotiating with each country bilaterally, having separate talks with China, South Korea, Russia, Japan, and the U.S. throughout its history. This way they pushed their envelope with every part involved and often succeeded in pitting the countries against one another. The new strategy of six-party talks worked to mitigate against that, all parties refusing only bilateral talks. Too bad it derailed in June.

North Korea has seen it ain't going to get back to the old bilateral strategy, so instead it's pushing this as a way to only get those parties it easily manipulates to the table and removing all that firmly stand against it and are most hostile to its interests. Make no mistake, if they somehow get this Asia-only talks together (but without Japan???) then they will sufficiently derail all chances of a diplomatic solution, even if there is one in the first place.