August 06, 2009

“Oops Kim did it again”

Two weeks ago Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that North Korea behaved as a naughty child looking to attract the world's attention (she didn't say that the naughty child is in the headlines anytime he wants). Kim Jong IL has “come to life” again after reports that he had suffered a stroke last year. But his political intelligence was not affected at all by his health condition. Since the two American journalists were detained by North Korean officers for allegedly trying to cross its border illegally, it was obvious that he would use them to attract (once more) the attention of the international community, particularly the United States. The Obama administration had a difficult dilemma. They could have done nothing and let their two citizens face a 12 year hard labour sentence in the reclusive state with all the political implications it could have had.

The other option was very risky considering the tuff attitude North Korea has taken towards the Obama administration. After Obama’s inauguration North Korea withdrew from the Six Party Talks, restarted its nuclear tests and launched a rocket capable of transporting a nuclear weapon (although the regime officially said its purpose was to carry a satellite), increasing the tension in the region. So that other option was to make a secret diplomatic arrangement in order to free the American hostages, some would say in other words “negotiate with terrorists”. I think that in the end negotiating with North Korea the release of the journalists was the smartest decision they could have taken, but of course it has its negative implications. In one hand, Kim Jong Il has demonstrated the whole world that he can kidnap people, then release them and in return have a picture next to a respected American ex president, and be in the headlines (again) for a while. In the other, the heroical rescue made by Bill Clinton will let the Obama administration have a better understanding of what really is happening in North Korea after reports of the preparations for the succession of its leader.

The “official pictures” released by the North Korean government show what everything was about. Bill Clinton, who is normally cheerful was very serious, while Kim Jong IL, always appears to be in a bad mood, was trying to smile all the time.

By now, we can say that once more Kim Jong Il got what he wanted. We must wait to see if the Obama administration can get from this operation more than the rescue of the journalists, and use it to get closer to the North Koreans and probably restart the Six Party Talks. But as many of us know, with North Korea it’s always the same, once step forward and wo backwards. At least we have something new to laugh about, that incredible official picture with the waterfall in the background, and the funny faces of Bill Clinton, who has made a wondrous return to the main stage, and the always mysterious Kim Jong IL.


Anonymous said...

Hola Mushasho!!!
Aqui tratando de leer lo que escribes,y estudiando inglés de paso jiji.
Q buena onda que eres poliglota jeje, es muy útil.
Spro me des unas clases de inglés eh!! jiji

Fantasía said...

Good title for this post: it makes me remember a song, jajaja: did Britney inspired you?

Nice post, and you are right: he did it again :o)