20061019

White blogule to Roh Moo-hyun - protecting Korea from the US

The Bush Administration has been working on a violent collapse of Kim Jong-il's regime for years. Bush even refused proposals by Pyongyang dovishest hawks to make peace and step by step becoming a strategic ally in the region. Former Ambassador Christopher R. Hill hasn't stopped putting oil on fire since North Korea's first nuclear test. For the White House, any diversion could help before November 7 mid-term elections.

So Roh Moo-hyun decided to protect the peninsula from this bilateral dead-end and announced the subject a purely intra-korean matter right before Condi Rice's visit in Seoul, without warning his closest advisors - especially those working on the Secretary of State's agenda.

Roh politely removes the US, Japan, Russia and China from the landscape, but also the UN, even if all voted resolutions will carefully be respected. Korean medias criticize the way secretary general elect Ban Ki-moon is cast away by his own Government the very week of his election at the head of the United Nations Organization, but this could prove to be a very smart way of helping Ban prove his independence from his country.

In the short term, I cannot see what can prevent NK from setting another nuclear test. In the medium term, Kim's regime will not survive. In a not so far future, Korea will face yet another nuclear neighbor : remilitarized Japan.

Right now, South should meet with North with the blessing of Beijing. For the time being, the 6-party talks should at least officially shrink to a 2-party-plus talks. Just to remind what's at stake if Korea as a whole collapses.

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