Shunting aside Track 2 approaches to North Korea

The US’ ‘track 2’ approach to North Korea is very much on the back burner. In fact, a leading proponent Donald Gregg, former ambassador to Seoul, national security advisor to Bush pere, and long time CIA operative in Japan, is in ‘exile’ at Syracuse’s Maxwell School where an ‘anonymous’ Korean donor has endowed a chair in Gregg and his wife’s name. There for the last 10 years an exchange programme with a DPRK technical university has been taken place, and it is still.
The Obama White House has closed its door to any initiatives to the Pyongyang, aligning its policies with that of South Korea’s Lee Myung bak’s hardline towards North Korea.
Now, it seems, Lee has tried his hand at ‘track 2’ by sending his envoys to talk to the North behind closed doors in Beijing. It failed, too, like his overt hostility to Kim Jong il.
The hawks in the White House and the Blue House will have to live with an inflexible ‘Drang nach Norden’, based on the false hope that tomorrow the DPRK will collapse on its own sword. Both countries talk big but exhibit the superficial trappings of ‘real politik’, which runs the danger of increasing tensions and laying more trip wire for war.

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