Jeffrey LewisLick the Carrot

Amid reports that North Korea is preparing to launch another missile and fears it may conduct additional nuclear tests, KCNA has released one hell of a statement.

This is going to get worse before it gets better.

DPRK Foreign Ministry Spokesman Clarifies Its Stand on UNSC’s Increasing Threat

Pyongyang, May 29 (KCNA) — A spokesman for the DPRK Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Friday as regards the UNSC’s threat to put additional sanctions against the DPRK, terming its successful nuclear test a violation of the UNSC Resolution 1718.

Over the past several decades, the DPRK has made every possible effort for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, but the U.S., instead of seeking a substantial removal of nuclear threats, has steadily increased the level of pressure upon the DPRK and it has eventually brought even the six-party talks to collapse in wanton violation of the principles of respect for the sovereignty and sovereign equality, the underlying spirits of the September 19 Joint Statement, over the DPRK’s launch of satellite, the universally recognized right of each state, the statement noted, and said:

At present, some countries were shocked at the news of the DPRK’s second nuclear test. But an exceptional act has its exceptional reason.

The recent nuclear test conducted by the DPRK is the 2054th one on the earth.

The five permanent members of the UNSC have conducted 99.99 percent of all the nuclear tests.

Those countries have posed the biggest nuclear threats to the world. But they took issue with our first nuclear test, which was conducted in October 2006 as a self-defensive measure to cope with increased nuclear threats by the U.S., terming it a “threat to the international peace” and adopted the sanctions resolution against the DPRK. This is exactly the UNSC Resolution 1718.

This resolution fabricated by the hypocrites has immediately invited a total rejection by the DPRK and we still do not recognize such resolution.

The UNSC with such a record produced the “presidential statement” on April 14 putting in question only the satellite launched by the DPRK for the peaceful purpose and put into force the sanctions under its Resolution 1718 on April 24 only to cause an unbearable insult to the dignity of our people and gravely infringe upon the sovereignty of the DPRK.

The DPRK is neither a signatory to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty nor to the Missile Technology Control Regime or MTCR. Such being the case, it has a right to conduct as many nuclear tests or missile launches as it wants in the event that the supreme interests of the state are infringed upon. Such self-defensive measures do not run counter to any other international law.

The UNSC has committed such unprecedented crime as the wanton infringement upon the right of a sovereign state to explore outer space for peaceful purposes and, instead of repenting of it, it is proactive in its outcry to cover up its crime. Under these circumstances, the DPRK, at this point, would like to draw a clear line of confrontation which will help clearly state who is to blame for the future unpredictable development of the situation.

First, the UNSC is involved in its high-handed act which will never be tolerated and it is the part of the self-defensive measures of the DPRK to respond to this with its own nuclear test which we had already made public to the world. There is a limit to our patience.

It is none other than the U.S. and other forces courting the U.S. favor who should be held entirely responsible for driving the situation to such a pass as they took the DPRK’s peaceful satellite launch to the UN to launch a condemnation campaign.

It is what they said to the DPRK that a satellite launch belongs to an independent right of a sovereign state. But, after our actual satellite launch, they took sides with the U.S. in its move to condemn the DPRK.

Those countries remained silent when the large scale nuclear war exercises such as Key Resolve and Foal Eagle joint military exercises took place in the depth of the Korean peninsula. But, When the DPRK was compelled to conduct a nuclear test as a self-defensive measure, they are united in their voice, condemning it as “a threat to the regional peace and stability”.

It means that they do not like the DPRK to possess what they had already put in place. In the final analysis, they mean small countries should obey big countries. The DPRK, though small in its territory and population, has self-confidence and grit that it is a politically and militarily strong country.

Second, we solemnly demanded that the UNSC make an apology for its crime of having seriously encroached upon the sovereignty of a sovereign state in gross violation of the Space Treaty and that it withdraw all its previously-crafted, unfair resolutions and decisions. Such a demand still remains in force.

As long as the Permanent Five alone invested with veto power and nuclear weapons have the mandate to identify what constitutes a “threat to international peace and security”, the UNSC is not supposed to bring their own acts of intimidation into question indefinitely.

As long as the UNSC fails to respond to the DPRK’s just demand, the DPRK will not recognize any resolution and decision of the UNSC in the future, too.

Third, if the UNSC will make further provocative actions, this will inevitably lead to the DPRK’s approach towards adopting stronger self-defensive counter-measures.

The end of the Cold War worldwide works only between big powers, but a Cold War still persists on the Korean Peninsula.

The UNSC-crafted UN Command itself is a signatory to the Korean Armistice Agreement.

Any hostile act by the UNSC immediately means the abrogation of the Armistice Agreement.

The world will soon find out how the army and people of the DPRK will stand up against the high-handed and get-it-alone approach of the UNSC in defending its dignity and sovereignty.

The U.S. is keen on using a catchphrase “Carrot and stick.”

It would be better for the “Donkey” of the U.S. Democratic Party to lick the carrot.

The FBIS translation (in the comments) is not much less provocative.

Oh, and the KCNA twitter feed is a fake.


  1. Jeffrey Lewis (History)

    DPRK Radio: FM Spokesman’s Press Statement on UNSC Discussion of Nuclear Test

    KPP20090529045004 Pyongyang Korean Central Broadcasting Station in Korean 0800 GMT 29 May 09

    [DPRK Foreign Ministry spokesman’s press statement carried as the last of three items in newscast]

    Press statement by a spokesman for the DPRK Foreign Ministry

    The UN Security Council [UNSC] gathered to carry out sanctions against us once again by finding fault with our successful nuclear test on 25 May by saying that it is a violation of Resolution 1718.

    Mankind’s consistent desire is to build a nuclear-free world.

    However, history has passed running counter to its desire up until today, when 60 years have passed since nuclear weapons first appeared in this world and when almost 20 years have passed since the end of the Cold War.

    During the past several decades, we exerted every possible effort for denuclearization on the Korean peninsula, but the United States, on the contrary, did not practically eliminate the nuclear threat, rather, it [the United States] endlessly increased the degree [of nuclear the threat] and later found fault with the launch of the artificial satellite, which is a universal right [ilbanjogin kwo’lli], recklessly [nanp’okhage] violated the dignity of sovereignty, which is the basic spirit of the 19 September Joint Statement and the principle of sovereign equality, and even ruptured the Six-Party Talks.

    Currently, some countries are expressing their surprise regarding our second nuclear test, but there is bound to be an exceptional reason [yesaropchiannun iyu] to an exceptional behavior.

    The nuclear test conducted in our country this time is the 2,054th nuclear test carried out on earth.

    Of all the nuclear tests, the five permanent members of the UNSC conducted 99.99% of them.

    These countries that have the largest amount of nuclear weapons in the world found fault with our first nuclear test carried out in October 2006 as a self-defensive measure to cope with the United States’ increasing nuclear threat, as a threat to international peace, and fabricated the sanctions resolution opposing the Republic. This is exactly the UNSC Resolution 1718.

    As soon as this resolution made by the hypocrites was released, it was totally rejected by us, and we do not acknowledge any such resolution from A to Z [ch’o‘ltuch’o‘lmi].

    On 14 April, the UN Security Council, which is of this nature, fabricated a presidential statement taking issue only with our peaceful satellite launch and on 24 April, moved to implement the sanctions under Resolution 1718 in actuality; thus, it intolerably defiled our people’s dignity and gravely infringed on the Republic’s sovereignty.

    Since our country is outside of the NPT or the Missile Technology Control Regime, it has the right to conduct nuclear tests or launch missiles as it likes [o’lmadu’nji] in case its supreme state interests are infringed upon, and such a self-defensive measure does not violate any international law.

    Even after committing an unprecedented crime like violently trampling on a sovereign state’s right to peaceful space development, the UNSC is raising its voice, ahead of [us], to cover up its crime, rather than repenting over it. Under these circumstances, we would like to make clear the current line of confrontation at this time to correctly determine who is responsible for unpredictable future developments of the situation.

    First, our recent nuclear test is part of a self-defensive measure taken according to what we made public to the world in response to the UNSC’s never-to-be-condoned brigandish act.

    Patience has its limits.

    The responsibility for the development of the situation this far wholly lies in the United States and forces that fawn upon it and follow in its footsteps, which brought our peaceful satellite launch to the United Nations and played the game of denouncing it.

    These countries said in front of us that a satellite launch was an independent right of a sovereign state, and then, after a satellite was launched in reality, they perpetrated the maneuvers of denouncing it at the United Nations.

    While keeping silent when large-scale nuclear war exercises, such as the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle joint military exercise, were conducted in in-depth areas on the Korean peninsula, these countries are unanimously raving that the nuclear test we conducted as an unavoidable self-defensive measure is a threat to peace and stability in the region.

    What they also say is that [they] do not like us to have what only they [cho’du’l] have had.

    After all, this means that small countries should obey big countries.

    Even though both [our] territory and population are small, we have the pride and nerve [chabusimgwa paesim] that we are a proud power [tangdanghan kangguk] in terms of politics and military.

    Second, we demanded that the UNSC apologize for its criminal act of violently violating the space treaty and gravely infringing on a sovereign state’s sovereignty and solemnly withdraw all resolutions and decisions that [the UNSC] unjustly fabricated. This demand is still valid.

    As long as the right to stipulate what constitutes a threat to international peace and security is given only to the five permanent [UNSC] members, which have veto power and nuclear [weapons], the UNSC cannot bring their own acts of threat into question, no matter how much time may pass.

    As long as the UNSC does not respond to our just demand, we will not recognize the [security] council’s resolutions and decisions in the future as well.

    Third, in case the UNSC makes further provocations, our further self-defensive measures against them will be inevitable.

    Even though the Cold War is said to have ended in the international scope, it [the end of the Cold War] is limited to among the super powers. The Cold War continues on the Korean peninsula.

    The UN Command fabricated by the UNSC is none other than a party that concluded the Korean Armistice Agreement.

    Hostile acts by the UNSC constitute a nullification of the Armistice Agreement.

    The world will soon see how our army and people will stand against the high-handedness and despotism of the UNSC to the end and protect their dignity and sovereignty.

    Whenever it says something, the United States likes talking about the carrot and the stick, but the carrot had better be eaten by the donkeys of the Democratic Party.

    [Dated] 29 May 2009, Chuch’e 98
    [Signed] Pyongyang

  2. Geoff Forden (History)

    As I read this, I think it is interesting to remember that the North was actually at war with the United Nations with the United Nations flag actually authorized to be flown by combat divisions. It helps, I think, to explain some of the North’s vitriol towards the Security Council. Of course, the DPRK doesn’t have a legal leg to stand on. The world has agreed that the Security Council can make international laws under Article VII, which it invoked to ban the North’s missile program, for instance, regardless of the North’s status on either the Treaty on Outer Space or the MTCR. (The later, of course, is totally irrelevant since it is an agreement between like minded supplier nations.)

  3. Michelle

    I’m confused about the “lick the carrot comment” – is this a Korean catchphrase? If so, what does it mean? I assume it’s not the lewd meaning that many would take it to be.

  4. bradley laing (History)

    Indian army chief calls for Pakistan nuclear cap

    NEW DELHI: The world must put pressure on Pakistan to restrict its nuclear capabilities, India’s army chief said on Friday, adding that reports of Pakistan stockpiling nuclear arsenal was a matter of serious concern. The New York Times last week reported US lawmakers were told in confidential briefings that Pakistan was rapidly adding to its nuclear capability, stoking fears in Congress about the diversion of US funds. Islamabad dismissed the report, saying Pakistan was determined to maintain a minimum nuclear deterrence as nuclear-armed rival India beefed up its conventional forces. agencies\30\story_30-5-2009_pg1_5

  5. George William Herbert (History)

    I would feel a whole lot better about this if we had more insight into why it’s happening.

    Yes, it’s clear that there’s some jockeying for position in a presumed succession situation in DPRK. But that doesn’t explain the level of activity and threats we’ve seen of late.

    They’re not as far out as they once were – no recent cross-DMZ commando raids or minisub scuba commandos that I have heard of. But this is certainly more belligerent than they’ve been for some time.

    The “it’s internal posturing, internationals expected to pay it no mind” theory only makes sense if they think they’ll suffer nothing on the international stage as a result, or don’t care if they do.

    If they’re trying to intimidate someone outside, the question is who, and why.

    DPRK seems to be the closest to an irrational actor when looking at the potential / threshold proliferators / new nuclear powers. I know intelligence and analysis looking in are somewhat hamstrung by the relative lack of information. The combination of escalating behavior and lack of insight is still disturbing.

    They don’t seem likely to just start firing nuclear weapons at people – but are things like kidnap snatches from South Korea and Japan possible risks again? Cross-DMZ commando raids into the south?

    They can’t win a war, if they actually provoke one. They have to know that. Except, Saddam had to know that too, and he didn’t read the tea leaves right until the critical point had passed and (from the finally decisive US policy perspective at the time) it was ultimately too late.

    Is there any sign that NK has a rational and accurate view of likely rest-of-world responses at the moment?

  6. Yossi

    A voice outside of the groupthink is clearly needed but is strangely missing.

    In our tradition there is a saying I find difficult to translate. It’s about true words characterized by going out of the heart and being able to enter the listener’s heart.

    The NK broken heart tirade doesn’t seem to enter many hearts here but maybe people are just pretending to be callous. Anyway, it does get out of a heart and it clearly expresses a suffering of injustice. Moreover, this feeling of being unfairly dealt with is based on facts.

    Calling NK “provocative” may well be just a reversal of the actual roles in this scene. Using force wouldn’t erase what this heart feels, on the contrary. My advice is to recognize that the other side deserves respect even if isolation drives it to over-react. North Koreans are a proud nation, that means they bargain fairly and stand by their words. Treat them the same and everything will be ok.

  7. Ethan Russell (History)


    Whatever you’re smoking, I want some of it – you are HIGH. North Koreans are not known for bargaining fairly, they’re known for brinksmanship and threats, and constant lying to get what they want. You must have been under a rock for the past 30 years. By the way, if you think just treating NK fairly is going to make everything alright, I’ve got a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn. Educate yourself! You can start by reading Aquariums of Pyongyang, by Kang Chol-Hwan. Or, you can continue to pretend until they finally destroy Seoul. Apologists for this brutal regime are the worst kind of scum on this earth.

  8. Arnold Evans (History)

    re: Geoff Forden:

    The world has agreed that the Security Council can make international laws under Article VII

    I’m not arguing for now. But I’d like to see how people sympathetic to this position support it.

    1) Is the argument that individual countries gave the security council the right to make any law when they ratified UN membership, or is the argument that “the world” has given the security council this right?

    2) Are there limits to the power of the security council, according to proponents of this position? Can the security council demand under Chapter VII that Israel, Pakistan and India ratify the NPT? Can the security council demand that Israel remove Netanyahu? Can the Security Council demand that Venezuela sell oil to a US company at a given price? Is there any limit at all to what the UNSC is empowered to demand of UN member nations?

    I’m not making an argument. I’m trying to satisfy my curiousity about what limits there are to UNSC authority, if there are any, and where that authority comes from.

  9. Adam (History)


    Are you serious? “…that means they bargain fairly and stand by their words.” That statement ignores 15 years of history which the world acknowledges, yet you do not.

    In the most recent agreement, NK was to allow verification of the terms (inspections of nuclear sites, etc). They failed to. The world refused to honor a bargain that the North Korean regime refused to honor.

    I have no doubt that the North Korean people as a whole bargain fairly and stand by their word, as many peoples around the world do. Unfortunately, I see no evidence that the NK citizens have a voice in their government; more importantly there has never been the slightest indication that the NK government cares about their own citizens.

  10. Jared (History)

    It is a mistake to call popular opinions “groupthink” just to discredit them. Sometimes, and this is one of them, popular opinions are justified.

    NK is threatening the world with nuclear weapons. Regardless of the circumstances, that deserves no respect or reverence. It is something that all people must rebuke.

    If North Korea feels that it has been treated unjustly, the way to earn respect is not through threats. A nation should be strong enough to withstand “broken heart tirades,” or it is based on a fallible and emotional system of government.

    The people of North Korea suffer by the actions of their government. With an open mind, the North Korean government must accept a humble position to regain respect in the world. Respect should never be granted simply because one party demands and threatens they deserve it. Not only is that a weak minded way to gain respect, but the respect gained would be false an empty.

    If North Korea is truly the proud nation that they claim, they must act with maturity and impunity on the international stage, which they have failed to do time and time again. If the North Korean government were willing to make minor changes, sanctions would be lifted, and worldly respect would increase. This is in the interest of all people.

    Everything will be OK regardless of these childish threats.

  11. Azr@el (History)

    The world has agreed that the Security Council can make international laws under Article VII

    This is better read,“Few nations have the military, economic or political will to challenge the world system built upon the victory of 45’ and thus defer to the will of the victors; i.e. the UNSC”

  12. Josh (History)


    In light of the rest of the statement, the meaning of the concluding taunt seems to be, Why don’t you start playing by the rules that you keep insisting we play by?

    Perhaps needless to say, this reflects an awfully selective reading of events.

    It may also indicate that we can take our positive inducements and situate them wherever we please, because Pyongyang isn’t interested. So much for carrots. The rest of the statement discusses the sticks.


    There is a programmed, fully-gamed-out quality to NK diplomatic and military moves since the announcement of the Unha-2 launch. I get the unnerving feeling that a chess player might when he ponders each move for the full time allotted, only to see his opponent respond instantly. Wherever the NKs are taking this game, they seem to know, even if we don’t.

    For that reason, I have to believe this has to do with purely internal considerations. And one doesn’t have to look too far for a sense of what those considerations might be. The Great Leader had a stroke. And word has it that he has finally chosen a successor. It’s legacy time, and this is the legacy he’s chosen.

    But then, I don’t pretend to be an expert on NK politics, so judge for yourself.

  13. Daniel Pinkston (History)

    I’ve been studying the DPRK for quite a while now, and my all time favorite had been a paragraph-long description of former ROK president Chun visiting Reagan to receive his “dog tags as a special class stooge.” But the last sentence of this statement tops it. That is just awesome. I have to thank Yura for job security during an economic downturn and for the humor!

  14. Josh (History)

    Oh yeah. It’s also possible that the DPRK Foreign Ministry shelters, somewhere, a Spinal Tap fan.

  15. jonathan (History)

    Why do you think N. Korea is posturing like this in a post-cold war world?

    BTW—cheers from a fellow Auggie student.

  16. MarkoB

    I am increasingly coming around to the view that one of the main reasons why the US is reluctant to engage in bi-lateral talks with North Korea is because of that old bug-bear “credibility.” I rather suspect that there exists the notion in official Washington that to engage in such talks, which have been demanded by the Norks pretty consistently, is to somehow “give in” to North Korean “blackmail” thereby undermining US “credibility” globally.

    However, Daryl G. Press in his important book “Calculating Credibility: How Leaders Assess Military Threats” puts such notions to the sword. For Press the US possesses credibility because of its military power. Engaging in high level bi-lateral talks will not diminish this credibility, according to the arguments presented in “Calculating Credibility.”

    This crisis demonstrates how the media and intellectuals work. How many reporters read Mike Chinoy’s “Meltdown.” I bet more than a few must have. How quickly they forget.

    The New York Times published a North Korea timeline. Now, North Korea has not exactly been an angelic state in the entire de-nuclearisation process going way back to the Agreed Framework. However, nor has the US. In that timeline produced by the Times there was no mention that the US treasury under Bush scuttled the six party de-nuclearisation agreement by slapping financial sanctions upon the basis of what we know were fake money laundering allegations. From this we then had the 2006 test. All that is now somehow out of history. That really takes admirable discipline. The propagandists in North Korea are surely watching in awe.

    The fuel oil promised North Korea had been slow in coming despite the plutonium declaration and steps toward disablement; Admiral Blair repeated the Bush line on uranium enrichment, signaling to the Norks that things wouldn’t be changing much under Obama.

    Much has been made of the fact that Obama has instituted a new policy. This is false. The Obama foreign policy more broadly is basically a continuation of the foreign policy of second term Bush. North Korea policy has been no different. The Bosworth angle has been overplayed. If he had nothing new to offer then the mere fact that he had been dispatched by Obama means nothing. To send an envoy to Iran repeating the old Bush policy on talks, in a blaze of publicity about “reaching out” to Tehran, would also not make for a new policy.

    The reaction to the attempted satellite launch, where Obama pushed for sanctions, demonstrated to the North that this administration does not not really offer “change we can believe in.”

    Bottom line here is; everybody has their hands dirty, we are slipping towards a war nobody really wants, two party talks would not diminish US credibility in the world…two party high level talks between Washington and Pyongyang is thereby the rational policy option.

    The second North Korean nuclear test represents the first failure of the Obama administration’s “let us continue with second term Bush foreign policy.” I rather suspect that in Pakistan and Afghanistan more failures will follow. Hopefully the evidence for such failure won’t be a “mushroom cloud” to borrow the phrase used by Condi Rice before the Iraq invasion.

  17. Reid (History)

    “Treat them the same and everything will be ok.”

    The same as what? North Korea is the only nation which defies the UN on principle, but relies on its members for handouts.

    There’s no equivocation in calling a nation which threatens its neighbors on all sides “provocative.” That is exactly how they are behaving, and though I am concerned for the NK populace, I have no compunctions about total sanctions against North Korea, should they continue to push their agenda of nuclear armament. Let them grow their own damn food, if they want to play with nukes.

  18. Andrew Cady

    I believe that a key problem for the NK government is that surrendering their nuclear capacity will not remove “regime change” from the USA agenda—and in fact might invite it.

  19. Paul

    For the first time we have confirmation from President Ahmadinejad that the 17 AUG 2008 launch of IRILV Safir failed during the 2nd stage, and was followed by the successful launch of Omid on board Safir-2 on 3 FEB 2009.

    Start from minute 4:15:

  20. Josh (History)


    What makes you think the U.S. is still reluctant to do bilaterals with NK? Bosworth is on the record in favor of bilaterals. That doesn’t mean, of course, that anyone besides NK is prepared to walk away from the 6PT, but that’s because all of the commitments made so far, post-AF, belong to that process. It’s not from any lingering reluctance to break bread in Pyongyang.

  21. Geoff Forden (History)

    Azr@el—when the DPRK joined the UN, it agreed with its rules etc. So, yes, even North Korea has agreed that the Security Council can make international laws.

  22. Azr@el (History)

    Ah…1991, the year of unipolarity, when both the PRC and Russia told the DPRK to hit the bricks on the question of a single Korean UN membership. Some could view the separate ascension to the UN of North and South Korea in 91’ less a willing choice on the part of Pyongyang and more of a coerced position, as North Korea itself claimed by calling the decision a reluctant one undertaken to avoid a temporarily difficult situation of one sided Southern admission, fill in the rest of the diatribe on one-Korea, splitism, blah blah blah. Further, said move in the face of the U.S. unipolarity should not be viewed as the DPRK internalizing or conforming to UNSC rule and more a case of compliance; deferring to a superior power during a period extreme duress. The DPRK achieving a virtual deterrence and on it’s way towards a minimum deliverable deterrence in a defensive context may feel unobliging towards agreements it made under what it feels were external stressors on their regime.

    Western nations and their ex-colonial possesions primarily make up the bulk of states which internalize legitimacy of the world system, but there are a few states, especially those that had a troublesome past with outside powers, who view the dictates of UNSC as something to comply with…for the time be. Hopefully the world system retains sufficient elasticity to co-op such states, not to mention granting greater prestige, and say, to upcoming states such as the Indian Republic, the IRI, Indonesia, etc.. I think German and Japanese request for UN P5 seats are preposterious given their falling birth rates and rather low growth potentials, much in the same way French and British UN P5 seats are anachronisms. But a trilateral U.S.-PRC-RusFed hub, sharing a unified or 2/3 veto as opposed to the individual one of today, surrounded by a permanent circle of second tier powers may best distribute the tensions of the modern world and help troublesome states understand the importance of ruling the planet thru consensus guaranteed by overlapping and reinforcing interests as opposed to a zero-sum game. Of course, this reality would have to be internalized by Washington first. An alternate path is the hubris of attempting to control the world with an outdated power structure that becomes less relevant with each year that passes and each state, and potentially non-state, that acquires atomic munitions.

  23. Gridlock (History)

    Sean’s IMINT piece is up, by the way:

  24. V.S. (History)

    Am I right to sense in this statement is some underlying but strong criticism towards China? If that’s so it’s very important. But it could also be related to the role of China in the upcoming succession of Kim Jong-il. I believe that at this point North Korea WANTS to become as more allienated and secluded as possible. Even enter a state of alert and combat readiness. This will rally every element of the state and party apparatus under the leadership and secure a smooth and unchallenged transition of power to the next leader. Or wouldn’t it, if we suppose that the new leader will be a boy born in 1983? I don’t know who will eventually benefit in the DPRK regime from this crisis.

    But I think that forgetting the imminent power transition makes us think about this whole crisis out of context.

  25. Daniel Pinkston (History)

    I don’t know if they changed the original statement, but I finally got the Korean version, which is:

    미국은 입만 벌리면 당근과 채찍에 대하여 말하기 좋아하는데 당근은 민주당의 하늘소들이나 먹는것이 좋을것이다.

    I’d translate this as “The U.S. likes to talk about carrots and sticks, but maybe it would be better if the Democratic Party’s long-horned beetles just ate the carrot.”

    I think this is an effort to show their contempt for this expression which they believe is disrespectful and implies their behavior can be influenced with absolutely no regard for their preferences. From the Korean text, the message is: “forget about this tired approach and deal with us as equals” which both Koreas have been seeking in their relations with the U.S. for a long time.

    I love “lick the carrot” though. I’ll definitely work that into my conversations when necessary or appropriate.