Looking serious, stern, and very much like an old fashioned school marm, president Obama, protected behind bullet proof glass, pointed a warning figure at the DPRK across Korea’s 38 parallel.
He warned the Kim Jong eun regime of living up to ‘promises’ and carrying out policies that incite tensions in a divided Korean peninsula. Obama warned North Korea that unless it ceases and desists in its provocative actions, it will increase its isolation in the international community.
The American president was referring to the DPRK’s announcement of launching a satellite in mid April to commemorate its founder Kim Il Sung’s 100 birthday.
Obama thundered a warning of withholding promised food aid when the US signed the 29 February 2012 agreement with North Korea in exchange for cessation of the DPRK’s nuclear and long range missile testing, as well as allowing the IAEA inspectors to monitor North Korea’s nuclear installations.
Nowhere in the 29 February agreement is mention made of satellites. Obama insists that UN Security Council resolutions cover them. But here’s the trouble, the DPRK has refused to acknowledge these resolutions with harsh sanction as interference into its internal affairs, a right guaranteed it under the UN charter.
North Korea claims that sending up the satellite is for peaceful purposes; the US strongly disagrees citing it is a smokescreen for military aims and nuclear simulated long range missile launches.
Obama’s threat of further isolating North Korea raises the question how much more can the US lead the campaign to isolate the DPRK?US administrations, especially George W Bush’s and now Barack Obama’s, have down as much as they could to cripple North Korea through war, sanctions, propaganda, and misinformation with little to show for it. [Currently, Washington is pursuing the same tactics with a great deal of frustration towards Iran.]
GuamDiary, for the past few days, has blogged on the disingenuousness of America’s bluster on the satellite issue. The Obama administration knew of North Korea’s plans to launch a satellite during massive events honouring the memory of Kim Il Sung before it signed the 29 February agreement.
It has steadfastly used the issue to gain more concessions from North Korea at best or humiliate the young Kim Jung eun at worst. The Obama administration in league with the revanchist Lee Myung bak regime in Seoul have one object in mind concerning the DPRK: regime change, rolling back thee DPRK until its collapses, not to put a find point on the matter.
On a 25 March segment on the BBC, Bob Fitzpatrick of the IISS got it half right during a 5 minute interview. He concurred that the satellite launch had a peaceful purpose: the celebration of Kim Il Sung’s centenary. He also brought up the matter that the 29 February agreement did not say anything about satellites.
However, he had no ready answer when it came to explain North Korea’s attitude other than the following: the inexperience of a new and young leader, or disarray among senior North Korean leaders [translation, an internal fight for power] or simply the more mind numbing explanation that the DPRK is an irrational state.
Admittedly, North Korea gave the US a hammer with which to bash it and score political points. Saying this, GuamDiary has always wondered about the success the US has had in pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into training a decidedly obtuse and ideologically blinkered clerisy that cannot box its way out a paper bag when it comes to North Korea or to the long span of Korean history.
Koreans, in general, are strict adherents to the law or to agreements they sign. Little wonder, the US sets itself up for disappointment or failure by forgetting that. As for Kim Jong eun’s youth, well, that is a convenient way of saying something to cover up not knowing anything much. Had his father Kim Jong il lived, he would have also launched a satellite as a tribute to his father.
If there is ‘confusion’ among North Koreans, US intelligence would be the last to know of it. America has openly admitted that North Korea is its greatest intelligence failure.
So where do we stand: mostly like to a Mexican standoff. And, of course, the continuation of the Obama’s vicious policy of using food aid as a political weapon.
Nonetheless, as GuamDiary has commented, the ground is shifting in South Korea. Lee Myung’s bak’s revanchist party will more likely lose its majority in parliament in spring and then the presidency in autumn. Then, South Korean will revive something resembling Kim Dae Jung’s ‘Sunshine Policy’, that is, improving relations with Kim Jong eun.
And when this happens, what will Obama or, if not re elected, his successor do? Once again, the US has painted itself into a corner. And ain’t that the truth!