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Good Cop/Bad Cop
Moon Offers Pyongyang Peace Talks

South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in has extended an offer to his counterparts in Pyongyang for a meeting at Panmunjom, the site where the armistice was signed between the two countries, to try to de-escalate the crisis. The Wall Street Journal reports the Chinese are all thumbs-up about the initiative:

Beijing, an ally of Pyongyang’s, voiced support for Seoul’s proposal. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said the effort is a step toward improving relations between the Koreas and easing regional tensions.

“We hope the two sides will move in a positive direction to create the conditions to break the stalemate and relaunch dialogue and negotiations,” the spokesman, Lu Kang, said at a media briefing in Beijing.

No word from the Norks yet as to whether they will consent—previous overtures by Moon have gone nowhere—but given China’s enthusiasm, maybe something comes of it this time. The Journal notes that President Trump OK’d the effort during Moon’s visit last month, and notes the stark contrast between Moon’s conciliatory rhetoric the vague threats (“some pretty extreme things”) coming out of the White House. Maybe the tired old routine works?

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  • Unelected Leader

    Moon-Cake has massive dementia. Can’t remember a few weeks ago? They’ve said it many, many times. Kim Jong Un (really Xi Jinping) wants US-Korea military drills to stop and no more ABM defenses. Maybe some more free money that Moon-Cakes lunatic party gave NK back in the 90s-2000s via the Kaesong Industrial Complex aka the SK Democratic Party hugs and kisses to their NK and Chinese masters. .

  • Fat_Man

    “West Can Neither Live with nor Take Out North Korean Nukes: It’s time for the U.S. and its allies to prepare for a tough, messy confrontation.” By Victor Davis Hanson — July 13, 2017

    * * *

    When North Korea eventually builds a missile capable of reaching the U.S. mainland, it will double down on its well-known shakedown of feigning indifference to American deterrence while promising to take out Los Angeles, San Francisco, or Seattle unless massive aid is delivered to Pyongyang.

    Kim Jong-un rightly assumes that wealthy Western nations would prefer to pay bribe money than suffer the loss of a city … He is right that the medicine of taking out Kim’s missiles is considered by Western strategists to be even worse than the disease of living with a lunatic regime that has nukes.

    … Apparently, Beijing found a rabid North Korean government useful in bothering rivals such as the Japanese and South Koreans while keeping the U.S. off balance in Asia and the Pacific. …

    Russia is never any help. … Whatever causes the United States and its allies a major headache is by definition welcomed.

    There seems to be zero chance of a North Korean coup or a Chinese intervention to remove Kim. …

    A preemptory strike might not get all of North Korea’s nuclear missiles and could prompt a conventional response that would wreck nearby Seoul — a scenario about which North Korea openly brags.

    * * *

    Sanctions have in the past crippled Pyongyang. But this time around they should not be lifted, despite the prospect of ensuing chaos in North Korea. … Nor should China be exempt from accompanying stiff trade restrictions.

    * * *

    Only a tough, messy confrontation now can prevent a disastrous war later on.


  • FriendlyGoat

    More and more THAAD and related next-gen missile defense is the only answer I know of. If we could shoot down now one of their tests going up, that might help.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    Moon’s likely to get bit by this, and Koreans will suffer.

    I don’t think North Korea’s coldwar era military, and starving troops, stands much chance against America’s state of the art, and battle tested, smart weapons and veterans of 15 years of constant combat.
    Are you scared?
    How about now?

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