According to ‘Agence France Presse’, reporting from Seoul, Sydney Seiler [national security advisor in the White House] and Joseph DeTrani [director of the National Counter Proliferation Centre] secretly flew to Pyongyang aboard a US Air Force Boeing 737 from Guam.
Obviously, this bit of secret diplomacy was a vain attempt to dissuade Kim Jung eun from going ahead with the rocket launch as a culmination of celebrating his grandfather Kim Il Sung’s 100 birthday. The mission was doomed to failure from the Obama administration ‘give a last go for the Gipper’ pass.
As GuamDiary has long contended from reading the press, Washington had been in negotiations with Pyongyang from July 2011 to the Leap year agreement signed on 29 February 2012. North Koreans had alerted their American counterparts that as part of the Kim Il Sung centenary celebrations the DPRK was going to launch a satellite carrying a transmitter broadcasting patriotic songs and ‘Happy Birthday to You’, during the April 2012 ceremonies.
When Pyongyang officially announced the launch in early March 2012, the US reacted strongly: it had been deceived by the nefarious North, and in consequent, it was suspending the delivery of 240.000 tonnes in powdered milk and chocolate energy bars, yet Pyongyang held up its end of the bargain by not reneging on its promises to allow IAEA monitors to return to the DPRK nor ‘shut down’ nuclear work then.
America’s ‘shock, shock, shock’ at North Korea’s announcement scored a Pyrrhic victory in a way. Obama and his highly moralistic US North Korean advisors and analysts made much more out of the missile launch, which experts had thought it would fail. Which it did.
And the secret flight of two emissaries brought nothing to Pyongyang: hence the failure of the mission.
Now where does the whole Washington ‘Sturm und Drang’ melodrama leave us: fear of yet another nuclear test by the DPRK, and where will that leave us: at dead centre and far away from any engagement with North Korea in order to solve seven decades of outstanding problems, including a peace treaty ending the Korean War.