Patterico's Pontifications


Korean Reconciliation Pact: Peace and Prosperity

Filed under: International — DRJ @ 6:51 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

North Korea recently pledged to stop activity at its main nuclear reactor complex by December 31. Now North and South Korea have signed a Reconciliation Pact to promote peace and establish economic ties.

From the AP via Fox News:

North and South Korea pledged to seek a permanent peace agreement replacing the 54-year-old cease-fire that ended the Korean War, a day after the North made its firmest commitment yet to nuclear disarmament.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Il and South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun also promised to boost economic ties — opening regular cargo railway service along restored tracks crossing their heavily armed border and creating a joint fishing zone on their disputed sea frontier.”

The Korean leaders also agreed on a joint cheering squad for the Beijing Olympics (They have official cheering squads?) and are working to reach agreements on joint Olympic teams, increased reunions between relatives separated by the border between North and South Korea, and to “open an air corridor between Seoul and North Korea’s tallest peak, Mount Paektu, a site sacred to all Koreans because it is the origin for the nation in its creation myth.”

The key is increased economic ties. It will be more difficult for Kim to block reconciliation if North Koreans get a taste of real economic development.

However, call me cynical but I still don’t trust Kim Jong Il.


8 Responses to “Korean Reconciliation Pact: Peace and Prosperity”

  1. I have no idea if the U.S. had any role in this, but it is unfortunate we don’t have a Democrat President so the media would at least cover it.

    spongeworthy (45b30e)

  2. So, now we prop up the world’s worst regime, bar none. But then that was Kim’s game all along: tribute.

    And yet another reason why the non-proliferation treaty will fail due to the major powers inability to enforce it. Need money? Threaten to build a bomb, or try to. Don’t let the treaty’s promise of nuclear immunity if you sign and don’t have any nukes sway you — the big powers won’t use nukes even if you DO have them. Or take any other action, apparently. Feh. An example here would have been useful.

    So there is no downside, and several upsides to having nukes. And the chance of a nuclear war goes up something like N*logN where N is the number of nuclear weapon states.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  3. Or, in short, we missed yet another opportunity to show that having nukes decreases a country’s security.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  4. Kevin,

    John Bolton agrees with you. He proclaims this a “travesty” that will be an embarrassment for the Bush Administration. It will let Kim continue his nuclear program without verification, which Bolton described as the opposite of Reagan’s admonishment to “Trust but Verify,” while replenishing his economic resources.

    You both make good points.

    DRJ (d48e2d)

  5. Only hope is that the NK’ers get too much of a taste of SK and decide to string ol’ Kim up from the nearest lamppost.

    Techie (c003f1)

  6. Here’s an interesting counterpoint to John Bolton’s view via the Instapundit:

    “North Korea’s decision to abandon its nuclear program could be significant, especially because it appears that it will not rely on UN inspectors but will instead involve US technicians overseeing the actual dismantling of North Korean nuclear facilities.”

    DRJ (d48e2d)

  7. If the above story is true, then this is HUGE – since the war, Americans have only been allowed in North Korea on rare occasions (Guy Delisle’s book PYONGYANG: A JOURNEY IN NORTH KOREA mentions a small crew looking for remains of US soldiers as the only Americans he came across during his time in NK.) While it’s possible this is another bait-and-switch on behalf of the regime, this (and the unification talks) might mean the nation is ready to experiment with reform … it might even mean that Kim Jong Il realizes his dog-and-pony show won’t last forever.

    John Barrett Jr. (241ec0)

  8. Maybe we can send in Maddie Albright for some more buffet and another dance. She loved that place.

    daleyrocks (906622)

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