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April 25, 2003

Good news from North Korea

The boneheaded regime in North Korea has just shot itself in the foot by alienating China, its only important ally, by admitting that it had nuclear weapons and threatening either to test or export them.   Joseph Kahn (who is a very nice guy, btw) reported in today's NYT that:

Chinese analysts and Asian diplomats said they were bewildered by Pyongyang's negotiating strategy, which seemed to be equal parts bluster and belligerence. They said it succeeded only in alarming its neighbors and potentially forcing China, which had been trying to play a mediating role between North Korea and the United States, to take a more decisive role in pressuring its onetime Communist ally.
(It should be noted that Kahn's article does a much better job of highlighting the significance of this development than does the WaPo piece by Glenn Kessler, which mainly plays up the nuclear disclosure angle and buries the Chinese reaction at the end of the article.)

Don't forget that the Chinese government reportedly halted fuel deliveries to North Korea for three days last month, which many observers took to be a message to "Dear Leader" Kim Jong Il that the DPRK should accept the proposed meeting with the Americans in Beijing.   Given the posture that North Korean negotiators took during this weeks meetings, I would recommend that folks in North Korea should seriously consider turning down their thermostats to conserve energy.

Also it appears to have a been a very bad week for our friends in Pyongyang, since on Tuseday, Australian special forces busted a North Korean freighter that was trying to escape after having delivered 110 pounds of heroin (worth an estimated $48 million) to a beach outside of Melbourne.

April 25, 2003 at 01:38 PM | Permalink

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Comments

I think they already turned their thermostats down...

https://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/2754077.stm

Posted by: | Apr 25, 2003 2:28:44 PM

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