Off Again, Those Six Party Talks About North Korean Nuclear Program
So surprising, the North Koreans have cut and run. At the Six Party talks, with the N.Korean funds' in Macao finally having been allowed to be unfrozen, the simple mechanics of giving the illicit funds to that country have made them bolt.
It isn't in packets of $100 bills in trucks, and that doesn't work for them. U.S. negotiator Christopher Hill assured the North Koreans that the money is on its way, and we can proceed on to shutting down those reactors now, so.....
Hill did have one-on-one conversations this week on nuclear issues, energy and economic problems and issues of regional stability. "There's no question that issues of trust do come up. We're dealing also with not only a multilateral process but a multicultural process. This is difficult stuff."
North Korean negotiator Kim Gye Gwan and Russian envoy Alexander Losyukov caught planes home Thursday at about the same time.
Treasury Department officials last week agreed to the return of about half of the money, saying that a lengthy investigation had shown that the rest was connected with illicit transactions. But they did an abrupt about-face this week, agreeing to return all the money.
The turnabout, aimed at accommodating North Korea and moving the nuclear discussions forward, came too late and without any other preparations to transfer the funds. North Korea, which ended the last round of six party talks over this same issue, was not prepared to take the word of U.S. officials, and demanded to see the money first.
"All six parties are now in the same boat, the boat has already started its voyage," Wu [China's negotiator] said. "No one can get off the boat. We have to work together to make progress."
The boat has landed it would seem, and we're on dry, dry land.
Just think what would be happening now if the cretin in chief hadn't called North Korea an "axis of evil" country and set them off. But that would have meant exercising judgment, diplomacy, basic foreign relations skills.
It's not nice to laugh at the kids on the short bus, but they are sure pushing hard on my giggle buttons.