Last May I wrote that the Bush administration was entertaining ideas of signing a peace treaty with North Korea, ending the state of war that has existed since 1950, and handing victory to the "DPRK". There are many, including myself that think this would be a huge mistake, not least because it will reinforce a murderous tyrant in the correctness of his acts.
Mr. Bush is now discussing this with Chinese President Hu Jintao.
Bush May Offer North Korea's Kim an Official End to Korean War
U.S. stresses carrots, not sticks, for North Korea
"If they make the strategic choice to take the ... necessary steps to join the international community, it will open a new path of peace and (opportunity)," she added.U.S. Signals New Incentives for North Korea
White House spokesman Tony Snow provided the most detailed list of what the United States might do, saying it included "a declaration of the end of the Korean War and moving forward on economic cooperation, cultural, educational and other ties."
The 1950-1953 Korean War ended with an armistice, rather than a formal peace treaty.
A senior State Department official said he was not aware of any concerted effort to accentuate the benefits for North Korea and said the idea of both sides getting something out of a deal was part of the "underlying logic" of the six-party talks.
U.S. officials have said they wanted North Korea to come to the next round of six-party talks ready to take concrete steps to show its commitment to denuclearisation.
But for all the talk of regional economic cooperation and trade expansion that peppered the official agenda, the focal point of the behind-the-scenes huddles here was the package the United States was trying to put together to make sure that coming six-nation talks aimed at reining in North Korea's nuclear ambitions would not fail.This is just naive. A freak like Kim Jong-Il is not going to give up his development of nuclear weapons, establish a republican or democratic form of government, stop murdering his population, or stop threatening South Korea and the United States (and Japan) because we give him what he has always wanted.
Wary that the off-again-on-again talks risk irrelevancy - they began in 2003 and have yet to produce anything - American officials said they did not want to sit down for another round until they had prepared a successful outcome. A senior Bush administration official said the United States was close to agreement with Russia, China, South Korea and Japan on what steps to ask North Korea to take.
Part of the debate has centered on what the five countries, but especially the United States, would give North Korea in return. In the past, American officials have talked about signing a peace treaty that would officially end the Korean War. Now they are hinting at the prospect of a ceremony to commemorate the event, hoping to capitalize on the desire of the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il, for American recognition.
But few diplomats say the promise of a peace ceremony one day and eventual membership to a trade organization will be enough to get Mr. Kim to start dismantling the nuclear program that his country has spent the last 50 years building. A senior Bush administration official said the five countries were also working on "more immediate elements" of an incentives package.
One big thing that North Korea has signaled it wants is for the United States to lift the financial restrictions it placed on a Macao bank, Banco Delta Asia, last year, that was a main hub of the North's international financial transactions. Last year, the Bush administration accused Banco Delta Asia of helping North Korea to launder money from drug smuggling and other illicit activities and to pass counterfeit $100 bills manufactured by the North's government.
When you give someone what they want, that person sees the success of his actions and will continue acting the same way.
Aid to North Korea is diverted to the armed forces, and the people continue to starve. But because we cannot stand the sight of millions of starving people, we have continued to send aid and have forgotten the fact that the bulk of North Korea's population never sees it.
As a result of flooding that wiped out much of North Korea's crops (and many homes and roads) this last July, and sanctions resulting from their detonation of an atomic bomb, millions will starve to death this winter, and that is perfectly OK with Kim. We can send them a million tons of food and it will go only to the Army. The rest of the people will still starve. The international community is beginning to see this and is cutting off aid.
If Mr. Bush's proposals go into effect and there is a peace treaty with North Korea we will have lost much and gotten nowhere.
For details about the Great Famine of the 1990s read this Special Report from the United States Institute of Peace (a summary is here).
Kim Jong-Il is convinced of his coming success, and if we make this historic mistake he may be right. Read this amazing article, We Have Strong Nuclear Power, the World is Trembling.