North Korea is supposed to come clean about its entire nuclear program by the end of this year, which is now so close that Kim Jong Il would need a direct line to Fedex. To clinch this deal, the U.S. administration has been doing backflips since the spring — arranging the transfer to Kim Jong Il’s government of some $25 million in allegedly crime-tainted funds, agreeing to the shipment of heavy fuel oil to Kim’s regime, hosting bilateral meetings in New York with North Korean officials, and arranging the fictions required to remove North Korea from the list of terrorist nations. In a grand display of happy harmony, arrangements have been made for the New York Philharmonic to perform next year in Pyongyang.
And now — is anyone surprised? — there are somehow “hurdles” to North Korea providing the promised full inventory of its nuclear escapades.
The State Department may regard this farce as clever diplomacy. But in the real world it is called paying nuclear extortion. It amounts to a giant billboard flashing the message to rogue regimes that if you just get your hands on nuclear weapons, America will jump through hoops for you, too. With nuclear Pakistan in tumult, with Iran closing in on the bomb, is that a message the White House ought to be broadcasting?
For a taste of what’s really going on in North Korea, it’s always worth browsing the English language web site of the Pyongyang-run Korean Central News Agency — not because it tells the truth, but because even the lies are interesting. They offer a hint, apparently missed by our nation’s top diplomats, of Pyongyang’s priorities. Below is a classic account from the KCNA’s Dec. 26 roster of stories, which begin with a tale of Kim Jong Il’s on-the-spot guidance to new pig farms, and go on to explain why his attentions would leave anyone (apparently including American negotiators) exalted and a-tremble with the wonder of translating into “brilliant reality” the desires of Kim Jong Il (“Songun,” by the way, means Kim’s policy of putting the military first):
Anniversary of Kim Jong Il’s Work Observed
Pyongyang, December 26 (KCNA) — Rodong Sinmun today says in a signed article that Kim Jong Il’s work “Respecting the Forerunners of the Revolution Is a Noble Moral Obligation of Revolutionaries”, published on Dec. 25, Juche 84 (1995), is an immortal library for establishing revolutionary morality in the present times.
It goes on:
Kim Jong Il is the supreme incarnation of revolutionary moral obligation as no one can match him in this respect and the Korean people deem it immense honor to become his soldiers, attracted by his great personality.
The Korean people’s noble sense of revolutionary moral obligation finds its vivid manifestation in that they are holding President Kim Il Sung in high esteem with intense loyalty.
The slogans “The great leader Comrade Kim Il Sung will always be with us” and “Let us arm ourselves more firmly with the revolutionary ideas of the great leader Comrade Kim Il Sung!” serve as the slogans reflecting faith to be always held aloft by the Korean people and all the struggles of the Korean people are oriented to translating the desire of the President into brilliant reality.
The Korean people’s noble sense of revolutionary moral obligation finds its full expression in that they have steadfastly carried forward the ideological and moral legacies bequeathed to them by the revolutionary forerunners.
The firm faith in the victory of the revolution, the indomitable fighting spirit, revolutionary optimism and the revolutionary spirit of self-reliance, revolutionary comradeship and burning hatred for enemies and transparent revolutionary principle serve as great mental power for the Korean people.
It is in this noble revolutionary spirit that the Korean people weathered out such ordeals as the “Arduous March,” the forced march. They are now dynamically stepping up the general march for the Songun revolution to build a great prosperous powerful nation in the revolutionary soldier spirit based on the above-said spirit.
The Korean people are fully displaying this noble sense of revolutionary moral obligation in devoting themselves to the work to translate the desire of the revolutionary forerunners to see a rich and powerful country into brilliant reality on this land.
The noble spiritual and moral traits of the Korean people making energetic endeavors to win the victory of Korean-style socialism and build a great prosperous powerful nation under the uplifted banner of Songun clearly testify to the truth of history that a great leader makes his people great.