Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Peace with North Korea - doomed to fail?

There has been quite a bit of optimism of late over the recent 'breakthrough' in the six-party negotiations. North Korea's Kim Kye Gwan is visiting New York to hash out more of the details with Christopher Hill and all seems to be go. At least for now....

Black clouds, however, are beginning to descend ominously on the horizon. Firstly are the pessimists who claim this agreement is not different, or not different enough, from the Agreed Framework, which ended quite badly. Another is speculation over what the inspectors may find in Korea when they get there and whether we are now going to be subject to a 'play-down' in the seriousness of the threat that has presumably loomed over our heads these past years. And the third one comes from the interesting paragraph at the end of the article:
Washingtonā€™s suggestion that it may drop North Korea from its state sponsors of terrorism list if negotiations go well has raised concern with Tokyo.. Japan has urged the United States not to remove North Korea from the list until it provides an explanation for the kidnapping of Japanese citizens by North Korean agents during the 1970s and 1980s. Japan insists it will not participate in the Six-Party Talk aid package to North Korea until the abduction issue is resolved
This presents a problem all too similar to one that contributed to the demise of the Agreed Framework. I refer to squabbles and conditionality imposed by the supposed allies upon eacth other. Insisting that progress can't be made until the Government of Japan becomes a domestic hero is highly unreasonable. Moreso because emotional cases like the abduction never have an 'explanation' that is going to be truly acceptable.

Comfort Women

Occidentalism has got a LONG post about the current push to pass a resolution in the US Congress (non-binding) to tell the Government of Japan to apologise for the military sexual slavery system run during the Pacific War, otherwise known as Comfort Women (CW). He and a link to Ampontan, who is quoted a length and linked, do not seem overly supportive of this resolution for a variety of reasons: the woman testifying is a liar (or has a bad memory); the translation of the GofJ's statement on the issue was poorly done and did not adequately reflect the sentiments intended; Japan is an ally of America so they shouldn't say anything that might upset them. These sorry excuses for insightful posting are a real shame.

Currently reading:

"Hell" by Yasutaka Tsutsui