Monday, August 10, 2009

Henry Kissinger sounds off on Clinton’s North Korean mission

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who served as the architect of American foreign policy under Presidents Richard M. Nixon and Gerald R. Ford, wrote an editorial published on several news Web sites Sunday about the long-term implications of the former president’s trip on negotiations with Pyongyang.

“The benign atmosphere by which it culminated its latest blackmail must not tempt us or our partners into bypaths that confuse atmosphere with substance,” Mr. Kissinger wrote. “Any outcome other than the elimination of the North Korean nuclear military capability in a fixed time frame is a blow to nonproliferation prospects worldwide and to peace and stability globally.”

Mr. Kissinger fretted that the visit had given North Korea just the propaganda it needed to portray itself as legitimate, and he questioned whether the visit had given other nations an incentive to stockpile nuclear weapons.

“A visit by a former president, who is married to the secretary of state, will enable Kim Jong Il to convey to North Koreans, and perhaps to other countries, that his country is being accepted into the international community,” Mr. Kissinger said, “precisely the opposite of what Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has defined as the goal of U.S. policy until Pyongyang abandons its nuclear weapons program.”

But the trip was not enough to pose a serious threat to negotiations, and Mr. Kissinger urged the administration to keep its goal for nuclear disarmament in North Korea saying, “the administration is still in a position to achieve a beneficent long-term outcome.”

1 comment:

Yong said...

Obviously, nuclear disarmament is the goal, even long-term for north Korea, as it diverts tremendous resources. Assuming that the goal for north Korea is security and reunification, not power for the its own sake, how best to achieve compliance and consensus is the question. The culture, history, and motivation of parties involved must be considered. The political, military, and economic reality has changed since the division, and efforts to influence the region must adapt to current concerns.