The death of Kim Jong il has shown to the world and to North Korea the superficial nature of America’s DPRK policy, a policy founded in the confidence of shop worn cliches and the certainty of platitudes that have the skirt the real nature of dealing with North Korea.
The danger in the US attitude, as it often happens, is its swing to the extreme, and the Obama administration’s embrace and reenforcement of the George Bush tack towards Kim Jong il. As a result, Obama & co. have taken no chance by closing hewing to the holy writ of keeping the door slammed shut to dealing with the DPRK.
Before considering two flat footed and tone deaf responses to the demise of Kim Jong il, let’s set out once more the policy that the Obama administration, in coordination with the revanchist South Korean Lee Myung bak regime, as it pertains to North Korea. One the message to the people of North Korea as a by your way excuse of condolence and the pounding of the war drums when it comes to the North’s ‘songun’ or military first policy with an odd touch of ‘Chicken Little…the sky is falling’.
As Guamdiary long commented on the Council on Foreign Relations’ special report on Korea, unanimously adopted by the leading US North Korean clerisy from the government, military, universities, think tanks, and the like. Its conclusions have staked out the narrow limits of US North Korea policy. Briefly, they called for ‘rolled back of the DPRK’, a Cold War term which failed during the Korean War. Furthermore, if anyone was then ‘rolled back’, it was the US UN led troops by the North Korean army and the Chinese Volunteers. So, the policy of ‘roll back’ is an indication of the intellectual and moral bankruptcy among the US elite influencing North Korean policy.
Saying this, let’s look at the diplomatic gaffe in the US message of condolence, addressed not to the North Korean government but to the North Korean people. How flat footed can that approach be. Obviously, some wag might have thought that it would bolster internal discontent. Wrong. If anything, the Obama administration has never followed the red thread that has run through North Korean history for the last 80 years: the DPRK is an extremely proud and highly nationalistic people and nation. A slight to its leadership is an insult to the North Korean people, no matter how they feel towards their leaders.
Once again, GuamDiary sees proof of the manner of low esteem it holds North Korea, as though it were not an equal in the comity of nations, but as though it were a child whose complaints and desires you listen to with half an ear. Not only is the US tone deaf, it is immured in its own prison of impossible dreams.
How insulting is the Obama administration’s gesture in ‘dissing’ North Korea’s leaders, people, and the new head of state Kim Jong eun? The American president’s ‘bevue’ is of the same order as George W Bush calling Kim Jong il a ‘pygmy’, a remark hardly worthy of a leader of the so called Free World. And then the ‘fearless’ Bush had to scramble to eat his words when the very same Kim Jong il’s country tested a nuclear device! Which all goes to show how anachronistic is US thinking when it comes to North Korea: like a big power trying to make a satellite of an unwilling, proud people, confident in its culture and destiny, in spite of the US’ plans of regime change and forcing North Korea to collapse!
We segue now to the endless rhythmic rapping and riffing on the DPRK’s reliance on ‘songun’ or military first policy, which, from the US perspective, endangers of the stability, serenity, and peace of northeast Asia. Nowhere in this scenario of the Goliath that the US, seconded by South Korea, sees in North Korea, menacing its neighbours and pushing the region towards war, do we get the slightest hint that the US is and has been at war with the DPRK since 1950.
Historical memory has faded on the extent of America’s bombing of North Korea which flattened the North to the Stone Age. [In fact, visitors to Pyongyang are constantly shown a single building that survived the aerial assault on the North Korean capital, the fire power of which was greater than the destruction of Rotterdam and Dresden!]
So, it is not unreasonable that the DPRK should have ready a large standing army against a hostile US and revanchist South Korea, the more especially in the light of US policy of provoking Pyongyang to trip the wire of war. We saw that in the joint exercises of the US and South Korea along the Northern Limit Line in November 2010 when South Korean shells fell in North Korea’s territorial waters and surprise, surprise, the North riposted.
The reactionary Lee Myung bak regime wanted to push the envelope but the US panicked lest it have a third war in Asia on its hands, and stayed the South from further military adventurism.
‘Songun’ offers internal stability to a regime that has suffered badly economically and that the US and the ROK have sworn to starve to death to hasten its downfall.
So much for sophisticated US North Korean policy: it is bathed in willful ignorance and malice and is stick in the mire of its own narrow ideology and prejudices which keeps the past out of hearing and ‘bonne intelligence’ out of the ken of its own rationality