March 08, 2003

Pyongyang Wanted a Hainan Appears

Pyongyang Wanted a Hainan

Appears Kim Jong Il really feels neglected by Washington's refusal to engage in direct, bilateral negotiations and is doing all he can to get Dubya's attention. Pretty much nothing would accomplish getting that attention better than a Hainan-style hostage crisis ten or so days before war in Iraq, right?

Perhaps Kim has been reading Charles Krauthammer, who (quite uncharacteristically) is suggesting the U.S. employ a strategy of "temporary appeasement" on the Korean Peninsula. But is Krauthammer right when he states: "Meanwhile, the United States is preoccupied with Iraq. We no longer have the power to fight two wars at once. And the North Koreans know it. They are pushing their advantage to the edge."? He's wrong in Don Rumsfeld's estimation.

Speaking of Rummy, some of his comments have suddenly led to slightly warmer comments coming from Seoul regarding Washington's troop presence in South Korea.

"In comments at the Pentagon, Mr. Rumsfeld suggested that the American military could play a more supportive role on the Korean peninsula arranging its forces at an "air hub" and "sea hub," and as reinforcements for South Korean front-line troops."

"I suspect that what we'll do is we'll end up making some adjustments there," Mr. Rumsfeld said. "Whether the forces would come home or whether they'd move farther south on the peninsula or whether they would move to a neighboring area are the kinds of things that are being sorted out."

Posted by Gregory at March 8, 2003 04:58 PM
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