Jeffrey LewisSurrender!

Chris Nelson has a depressing Nelson Report today. Apparently no one in the Bush Administration believes that Six Party Talks can succeed:

Recently, we heard a very highly informed Asia policy player, on background, explain and confirm that the basic Bush Administration assessment of the nuclear weapons situation in N. Korea is that Kim Jong-il will never give them up, period. That, this expert went on to say, is because of Kim’s reliance on retaining the support of his military, and because the DPRK military sees nuclear weapons as the only viable deterrent against a hostile world, especially the US.

To make sure we heard it right, we asked “you don’t really mean that it’s the assessment of the Administration that there is no combination of security guarantees and economic and diplomatic incentives which could persuade the DPRK military to accept a leveraged buy-out of the nuclear weapons?”

Answer: “That’s exactly what I mean.”

Another commentator, who Chris described as a well-known highly -respected observer, confirmed this assessment, arguing that SECSTATE has “shut Chris [Hill] down since November and now is firmly on the side of those who truly believe KJI cannot be brought around by anything less than a credible threat to his person/regime. In that case the [Six Party Talks] will be useful to work out the details of [Kim’s] surrender.”

… but don’t give yourself away, ay, ay, ay.


  1. James W (History)

    Surrender? That sounds a little overoptimistic. The South doesn’t seem to have much enthusiasm for conflict with the North and the Chinese are all too happy to play the Americans off of Pyongyang. Without Kim, that would no longer be possible, would it?

    I predict the US will huff and puff and fume but accomplish nothing. This “crisis” has been around for ten years. At what point does a crisis become the status quo? Give Kim his due: he beat the system.