Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Cautious Approach with North Korea

A humorous post from George Handlery at The Brussels Journal:

Peking made recommendations regarding the inspection of North Korean ships to implement the sanctions approved by the SecCouncil. The arms and trade embargo are to be executed cautiously and without the threat or the application of force.

Just try to imagine this scene. A suspicious ship is sighted, A vessel instructed to determine whether the cargo is embargoed approaches it.
“We wish to check your cargo”.
“We do not want our cargo inspected”.
“Oh, sorry, in that case, you may proceed”.
Indeed, such draconic measures would scare the daylights out of any hardened criminal regime.

Pyongyang has announced that it will “never” give up her nuclear weapons’ policy. You might have heard that the word “never” is never to be used in any context.

Why does North Korea practice the opposite without much damage? Because we make it pay. Perhaps, as far back as 1953, the Kims had reason to discover that in their case that “never” always works. It does so because they have to do with entities whose moral relativism and crisis management technique is that everything, and really everything, is negotiable at all times. Accordingly, they never say “no, never” to anyone. Given this softness, “never” is never a mistake but, as in the case of the tantrum of the kid at the checkout counter, a key to get the candy bar.

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