Instead of generating silence of embarrassment, the unexpected – although hardly surprising – admission by North Korea that it has been pursuing the development of nuclear weapons all this time has prompted a chorus of apologia and “explanation” from those who had been urging engagement and dialogue with the North Koreans. My personal favorite is South Korean Unification Minister Jeong Se-hyun, who seems to think his portfolio includes public relations on behalf of North Korea, as he is actually offering “clarifications” of North Korea’s position, and going so far as to admonish the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly for “misunderstanding” what was said to him in Pyongyang. This kind of reaction is by no means confined to the Kim Dae-jung administration officials, as there are plenty of analysts in this country who are offering “insight” into the Dear Leader’s recent actions, which range from outlandish economic “reforms” to admitting to have abducted foreign citizens.
PacNet #48A – Dove Disengagement
November 14, 2002