Donald Gregg, former senior CIA analyst, national security advisor to Bush 41, former ambassador to South Korea, and CEO emeritus of the New York Korean Society, during the bleak ‘axis of evil’ days of Bush 43, managed to get funding and a wink from the US government of continuing a programme he established whilst at the helm of the Korea Society of bringing North Koreans for information technology training and other issues to the Maxwell School at Syracuse University.
The former ambassador believes in “jaw, jaw, jawing” with North Korea. He readily admits his long years at the CIA showed that the DPRK was America’s greatest intelligence failure, and, he, too, in ‘spying’ on North Korea came up with chump change.
His prestige and long years of service earned him a chance to open back channels to North Korea. During the Bush and Obama years, narrowed as the openings were, his programme at Maxwell remained alive with good results.
Now, like the Cheshire cat in ‘Alice’, he has to be grinning that his ‘foresight’ has proven true in vision and intent. Minister Ri’s visit will allow for broader discussion of possible cooperation between the DPRK and the US on a number of outstanding issues from the Korean War to the nuclear matters of today.
On a recent appearance on the PBS Charlie Rose show, ambassador Gregg expressed an openness which the agreement allows with North Korea, thereby lessening tensions on a divided Korean peninsula. His ‘vis a vis, Bobita Hwang of the American Enterprise Institute forced to admit positive gains in the agreement remained her hardline self in dealing with North Korea; in fact, she was of the opinion that the US had potentially shot itself in the foot.
In the longer run, Gregg’s standpoint is gaining traction.