It is true that our "leaders" have wised up enough (finally!) to avoid being cowed into giving Kim the direct talks or the six-way talks that he wants. So, a little good news there.
US envoy Bosworth rules out resumption of 6-party talks
Bosworth said the six-nation talks won’t resume while Pyongyang works on a new uranium facility.But, there is more, and Kim still has our number.
“Needless to say, we regard this development with great seriousness,” he told reporters. “We do not contemplate resuming negotiations while active programs are under way or while there is a possibility that North Koreans will test another nuclear device or test a missile.”
The multilateral talks, stalled since late 2008, include the two Koreas, China, the U.S., Japan and Russia. North Korea has called for an early resumption, while South Korea and the U.S. maintain that Pyongyang must first apologize for the sinking of a South Korean warship last March and show sincerity on denuclearization.
Washington made it clear on Monday that it would not reward North Korea for its bad behavior, saying it must take steps toward denuclearization.
“We will not be drawn into rewarding North Korea for bad behavior,” State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said. “They frequently anticipate doing something outrageous or provocative, and forcing us to jump through hoops as a result. We’re not going to buy into this cycle.”
This from The World Tribune. Regarding the recent shelling of Yeonpyeong Island, U.S. missed North Korea peace signal, delivers weak response
“The United States strongly condemns this attack and calls on North Korea to halt its belligerent action and to fully abide by the terms of the Armistice Agreement. The United States is firmly committed to the defense of our ally, the Republic of Korea, and to the maintenance of regional peace and stability,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said. “We are in close and continuing contact with our Korean allies.” NSC Chief Tom Donilon added that President Obama was “outraged” by the attack, and that he was planning to call President Lee “to express American solidarity”.As always, read the whole thing.
In the absence of a swift and overwhelming military reaction by the US and its allies, the DPRK’s gambit worked once again, just as it did with the sinking of the RoKN corvette Cheonan on March 26, 2010.
In ordering the shelling of Yeonpyeong Island, Kim Jong-Il had two major objectives:
1. Demonstrate the weakness and indecisiveness of the U.S., thus assuring Pyongyang there is no reason to fear retaliation or U.S. guarantees to the RoK, as Pyongyang would be pursuing its ascent and confrontation.
2. Coerce Washington into Iran-style direct negotiations with the DPRK as two nuclear powers if only because failing to placate Pyongyang would lead to more military incidents and further political embarrassment for the U.S.
This process is intended to guarantee that the Kim dynasty would not be threatened by the U.S. and its allies even if the DPRK was tottering due to economic crises. The ultimate objective of Kim Jong-Il is to bequeath this strategic posture to Kim Jong-Un.