The Bow Ramp

Thursday, July 06, 2006

The Korean Tango

I was in the car listening to some talking heads arguing about whether its better to hold direct talks with Korea or stick to the multi-party talks, and what sort of mixture of sticks and carrots to hold out to the Norks.  Sheesh!  I have one word for those folks – Panmunjeom.

We spent years being jerked around by those people at that place.  The truth about negotiating with the North Koreans is that they don’t actually negotiate.  They understand that our side doesn’t really want to fight.  So they will vacillate, threaten, rattle sabers, hold out the possibility that they will compromise, renege, etc.  One step forward, one step backwards.  For them, the sole reason for negotiations is to gradually wear us down like water dripping on a stone.  In the end, they either obtain something they wanted from us; or, at worst, don’t loose anything that is important to them.

We will never get any real (i.e. they won’t cheat) concessions from them, because they aren’t scared witless of us.  The problem with dealing with a ruthless dictator is that both sides have to be equally ruthless.

No doubt about it.  ‘Lil Kim firmly believes he can keep pushing our buttons until he gets what we wants, because he knows we are afraid to get serious.

My guess is that somewhere in the White House, there are people who recognize all this and realize our hands are tied by the very system we are trying to defend.  They are hoping that North Korea will just disintegrate before we are forced to nuke the poor bastards in self defense.  I wouldn’t want all those innocent Korean people to die; but on the other hand, it would sure give the Iranians some incentive to behave.