The long game in North Korea negotiations

The U.N. issued a report that says North Korea is still developing its nuclear program.  The BBC reports it simply:

North Korea has not stopped its nuclear and missile programmes, violating UN sanctions, a report commissioned by the UN Security Council says.

It also says Pyongyang has resorted to a "massive increase" of illegal ship-to-ship transfers of oil products and has been trying to sell weapons abroad.

The confidential report by a panel of independent experts was submitted to the UN Security Council on Friday.

North Korea has so far not commented on the document's findings.

Last week, US officials said Pyongyang appeared to be building new ballistic missiles despite recent warming ties with US President Donald Trump's administration and pledges to denuclearise.

The first deal signed by Trump and Kim states: "The United States and the DPRK commit to hold follow-on negotiations."  In other words, despite Trump's often over-the-top rhetoric – which we should all be used to by now, for he will never be another Silent Cal – he was also pragmatic and realistic.  The negotiations will have to continue.  Any final deal, however it ends up looking, will take time.  Everyone knew this. 

Yet it was still a positive development when Kim and Moon walked arm in arm across the border.  Positive?  No, unprecedented.  Trump was allowed to celebrate it.  The president's justified enthusiasm when he got Kim to sign the deal – the first step – was appropriate.  It is reminiscent of Nixon meeting with the closed in, awful Chinese regime.  How long did it take for the Chinese to open up and allow some measure of free (or freer) markets?  A long, long time. 

The report at the BBC further says the international community has agreed to keep the sanctions going.  All the way back in December 2017, the South Korea navy seized a ship suspected of transporting oil to the evil and oppressive regime.  That's a sign that the international community will have to be vigilant even today, and the recent report confirms it.  When this community of questionable governments can agree on sanctions, then unity is a positive.

If the North Koreans gradually move toward a more open society but keep their nuclear program, then we will have to help them see that freer societies, relatively speaking, don't attack free societies. 

There is no shame in being optimistic about the three-way dialogue among the U.S., North Korea, and South Korea.  There is no need to sneer: "Toldya!" in light of the recent U.N. report. 

As noted elsewhere, millions and millions of South Korean Christians over the decades have been praying for their northern cousins.  It is going to take time to see their prayers answered. 

This proclamation, echoing Reagan in Berlin to Gorbachev, is still valid: "Mr. Kim, tear down this wall!" 

James Arlandson's website is Live as Free People, where he has posted Another Fatal Flaw in 'Death Roe' and Protestant Work Ethic, Capitalism, and America's Founding.

The U.N. issued a report that says North Korea is still developing its nuclear program.  The BBC reports it simply:

North Korea has not stopped its nuclear and missile programmes, violating UN sanctions, a report commissioned by the UN Security Council says.

It also says Pyongyang has resorted to a "massive increase" of illegal ship-to-ship transfers of oil products and has been trying to sell weapons abroad.

The confidential report by a panel of independent experts was submitted to the UN Security Council on Friday.

North Korea has so far not commented on the document's findings.

Last week, US officials said Pyongyang appeared to be building new ballistic missiles despite recent warming ties with US President Donald Trump's administration and pledges to denuclearise.

The first deal signed by Trump and Kim states: "The United States and the DPRK commit to hold follow-on negotiations."  In other words, despite Trump's often over-the-top rhetoric – which we should all be used to by now, for he will never be another Silent Cal – he was also pragmatic and realistic.  The negotiations will have to continue.  Any final deal, however it ends up looking, will take time.  Everyone knew this. 

Yet it was still a positive development when Kim and Moon walked arm in arm across the border.  Positive?  No, unprecedented.  Trump was allowed to celebrate it.  The president's justified enthusiasm when he got Kim to sign the deal – the first step – was appropriate.  It is reminiscent of Nixon meeting with the closed in, awful Chinese regime.  How long did it take for the Chinese to open up and allow some measure of free (or freer) markets?  A long, long time. 

The report at the BBC further says the international community has agreed to keep the sanctions going.  All the way back in December 2017, the South Korea navy seized a ship suspected of transporting oil to the evil and oppressive regime.  That's a sign that the international community will have to be vigilant even today, and the recent report confirms it.  When this community of questionable governments can agree on sanctions, then unity is a positive.

If the North Koreans gradually move toward a more open society but keep their nuclear program, then we will have to help them see that freer societies, relatively speaking, don't attack free societies. 

There is no shame in being optimistic about the three-way dialogue among the U.S., North Korea, and South Korea.  There is no need to sneer: "Toldya!" in light of the recent U.N. report. 

As noted elsewhere, millions and millions of South Korean Christians over the decades have been praying for their northern cousins.  It is going to take time to see their prayers answered. 

This proclamation, echoing Reagan in Berlin to Gorbachev, is still valid: "Mr. Kim, tear down this wall!" 

James Arlandson's website is Live as Free People, where he has posted Another Fatal Flaw in 'Death Roe' and Protestant Work Ethic, Capitalism, and America's Founding.