Blocking Peace in Korea by Lying about the Past


Photo by David Stanley | CC BY 2.0

As the Korean Peninsula takes tentative steps toward a huge rapprochement and hundreds of millions of people in Northeast Asia hold their breath, liberal Americans tell us we cannot trust North Korea’s government because they are not a good-faith negotiator, as if Washington is. In the words of the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, “We must view it with the necessary skepticism born of such talks in the past. On multiple occasions, Pyongyang has seemingly opted for the path of negotiation, only to reverse course after pocketing concessions from Seoul or the international community” (the Guardian). Hmm… Just coming to the table to grab some concessions and then later reversing course? That sounds familiar. Washington does it all the time. Pyongyang, on the other hand, tends to keep its promises. This is not to say that North Korea is a wonderful, virtuous country, only that its government is interested in peace, very interested. Of course, it is. After all, violence is a tool of the powerful, not the weak.

The New York Times Choe Sang-hun and Mark Landlermarch reported the other day that “later in Washington, Mr. Trump told reporters: ‘The statements coming out of South Korea and North Korea have been very positive. That would be a great thing for the world’.” They portray his words as brash and contrast them with the statements of White House officials, who were “more cautious, with one senior official…

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