The detainment and subsequent release of the two American journalists was big news, yet the politicizing of their release surprised me. As a country, North Korea is an isolationist. The United States does not have an embassy in this country and has diplomatic communications with is typically through a third party.
The North Koreans asked for a visit from President Clinton as a condition of the release, and the White House approved the condition. The former president met with Kim Jong-Il, and if it made the North Koreans feel better, so what. Surely this visit didn’t open the door wide open for thawing the strained relations, and at best, maybe it put a slight crack in the door.
In the big picture, let us remember these key points.
- No matter what the U.S. says or whatever the U.N. does, only China can apply significant pressure on North Korea
- A unified Korea would not serve in China’s best interest
- The U.S. can’t pressure China because of the amount of U.S. debt China holds
Just giving some points to ponder.