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  •  Off Topic North Korea (1+ / 0-)
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    happymisanthropy

    Don't mean to hijack the diary but this is sort of related.  The way we seem to think that simply by sticking our fingers in our ears and shouting we will be able to control other countries that we fear seems to be universally applied to our designated boogie men.

    I saw the reports after the failed missile launch almost universally proclaiming that it signified that the policy of attempted engagement was an abject failure.  That now we would really have to get tough with these cretins etc.

    In fact that was pretty much the lead from the supposedly liberal Guardian in the UK.

    There is not much room for nuance in that sort of analysis.  THere is not much room for trying to figure out what is going on behind the scenes in a totalitarian country that has been ruled by a single dictator for decades who has just died and is now transitioning over to a very young man.  I would submit that it is nearly certain that there is some sort of power struggle going on there.  That there are more than one faction of advisors to this new kid who is now leading the country.

    That the fact that they decided to go with this provocation indicates that initially the fire breathers prevailed, but it is early.  And the fact that it was a humiliating failure, far from being a bad thing for the western policy of engagement almost certainly strengthens the hand of the alternative factions in the North and makes it more likely that the hard liners have lost face in eyes of the new leader.  That he is even now reassessing the value of their council in relation to other voices he has probably been hearing from.

    Far from being a disaster for the policy of engagement I would submit that this may be a real opportunity as the futility of the North's current trajectory becomes more and more clear to this kid.  Of course it could go either way.  But I think that it is far from the obviously bad news that the media seems intent to portray it as.  Look, the old guard talked the kid into rattling the saber and the saber fell apart.  How does that discredit those who have been telling him that the saber isn't worth the hassle?

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