Now much as I have pointed out that Pat Hynes may be the most wrong person in blogging ever.... I am going to have to give Bombtruck his blogging intro by dragging his post around a bit
so... on with the bloggy
Does anyone really want to try trusting North Korea in any kind of negotiation at this point? And does it really send any strong message to Iran that we're thinking of doing this? Boy our government can be a glutton for punishment and stupidity no matter who's in charge.
Ok, in US foriegn polciy their is the position of "pragmatism" and this is a play to the Pragmatic... but let me first show you whats hidden in the NYTs
North Koreans have long demanded a peace treaty, which would replace the 1953 armistice ending the Korean War.
The North Koreans have made a peace guarentee a major concession point due to the fact they feel surrounded by folks who'd rather blow them up then look at them. The fact they could no longer maintain their massive military feasibly was part -why- they pursued Nuclear Weapons as a deterant.
The theory here is that by eliminating the need for them (by their perception) to have this massive buildup you may be able to make something happen.
The decision to consider a change may have been influenced in part by growing concerns about Iran's nuclear program. One senior Asian official who has been briefed on the administration's discussions about what to do next said, "There is a sense that they can't leave Korea out there as a model for what the Iranians hope to become — a nuclear state that can say no to outside pressure."
This also has a secondary play factor which the NYTs fails to mention.
If Bush has Two Wars "On the oven" in the perception of the UN voters it would make his ability to act strongly on Iran difficult, if not impossible from a International Standpoint. However by making peace with North Korea it becomes harder for the "war monger" them to work within the UN
As described by administration officials, none of whom would speak on the record about deliberations inside the White House, Mr. Bush's aides envision starting negotiations over a formal peace treaty that would include the original signatories of the armistice — China, North Korea and the United States, which signed on behalf of the United Nations. They would also add South Korea, now the world's 11th-largest economy, which declined to sign the original armistice.
In the article it talks about not having regime change and de-nuclearization as part of the same policy. Here however people on the President's team have some smart thoughts coming on.
China as it was one of the agressor powers that is now a world power could be arm twisted to with the US and South Korea bring about real prospects of reconstruction in North Korea in exchange for concessions. And I would If I were a negotiator put into the peace treaty requirements to be monitored and managed by the South Koreans on openess and bilateral issues relative to the two nations.
Even if peace treaty talks started, officials insisted, those sanctions would continue. A month ago, Stephen J. Hadley, the national security adviser, told a small audience of foreign policy experts that the sanctions were "the first thing we have done that has gotten their attention," several participants in the meeting said.
Some intelligence officials say they believe the protests may have arisen in part because they affected a secretive operation in North Korea called Unit 39 that finances the personal activities of Kim Jong Il, the North Korean leader, providing the money he spends for his entertainment and to win the loyalty of others in the leadership.
This is the hugest Carrott and the Administration is keeping this off the table. The Criminal enterprises used to finance the evil government in North Korea will still have its feat to the fire which gives the US a tool in both sets of Negotiations.
This isn't an exact science to be sure but in the world of diplomacy this is a very good move.