Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Clinton’s Pyongyang Visit?

Obviously a done deal—which means that the North Korean authorities know enough not to push their luck too far.


Ken Y-N said...

I must say that Kim Jong-Il was looking remarkably healthy compared to just a few months ago. Did they wheel out their best quality look-a-like?

Jun Okumura said...

Ken Y-N: I noticed his look too, and so did many others. I think he was the real thing. It’s too much of a chore to create doubles for intimate occasions. Besides, people take pictures at these events that can be examined by forensic experts. So, I think we can say that he does not suffer from terminal cancer or kidney or liver failure. If his illness has led him to stop drinking and watch his diet, he could be sticking around for some time yet. If indeed such was his condition and he had been aware of such fact, then previous speculation that the second nuclear test and the ballistic missile launches were conducted primarily for domestic reasons that had something to do with the succession becomes suspect.

Joe said...

And of course, people, pundits, and internet lurkers are wondering why Japan doesn't have the diplomatic clout to get back their own kidnapees from North Korea.

I'd say the government has been able to get anyone back for two reasons: 1) I don't think there's much Japan can offer that Pyongyang wants, other than money, and, more importantly,
2) Japan has been very useful to the DPRK in causing friction among the other members of the 6-party talks because the Japanese government has painted itself into a corner by prioritizing the kidnapping situation over nuclear disarmament for the longest time.

I can't claim any special insights or analytical prowess; these are hardly original thoughts. But you'd think someone in MoFA or the cabinet would have learned by now not to dance to Kim Jong Il's tune.

Jun Okumura said...


My response, sorta, here. No, I'm not criticizing you, just the input you get.