European Pressphoto Agency, South Korean President Park Geun-hye
The South Korean president's Washington visit is a good time to define a firm policy regarding Pyongyang.
By NICHOLAS EBERSTADT The Wall Street Journal, May 5, 2013
When President Obama and South Korean President Park Geun-hye meet in Washington on Tuesday to consider how to deal with the latest North Korean crisis, some in policy circles will urge the leaders to undertake another round of diplomatic overtures.
In recent months, Pyongyang's adventure in brinkmanship has included launching a long-range ballistic rocket, conducting an underground nuclear test, and repeatedly threatening attacks against the U.S. and South Korea, including nuclear ones. In response to all this menace, Secretary of State John Kerry declared last month in Japan: "Our choice is to negotiate" with the Kim Jong Eun regime "and find a way to peace." Others close to Mr. Obama and Ms. Park likewise regard diplomatic "engagement" as the only viable option for reducing the North Korean threat.
There is one huge problem with this "engagement" game plan: North Korea has no interest in granting America or its allies a lasting regional peace. Understanding this unwelcome but critical fact is the first step toward a strategy that could make the North Korean problem smaller, not larger, over time.
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