Jeffrey LewisPritchard on US Korea Policy

Jack Pritchard has a hell of an article about US Korea policy in UNIDIR’s Disarmament Forum.

Although written before North Korea’s return to Six Party Talks, Pritchard’s history of the last round helps explain why North Korea came back.

DPRK participation in the multilateral process seems designed to placate Beijing and prevent Washington from taking a more aggressive and unilateral approach to North Korea. As long as Pyongyang continues to pronounce its willingness to participate in the Chinese-hosted process and a willingness to reach a peacefully negotiated settlement of the nuclear crisis, it is unlikely that many, if any, of the other participants would be prepared to side with the United States in a confrontational approach toward the DPRK—regardless of the lack of actual progress in the talks. As bleak as it may seem because of the unconstrained public rhetoric and the length of time between sessions, all indications point to the convening of a fourth round of talks.

Pritchard does not, however, mention the President’s rare affliction of Kim Jong Il-itis.