In Kim Jong Il’s pleasure palaces, they ought to be whooping it up right now over Kim’s favorite French cognac. As the latest step in the Bush administration’s ever more astounding grand giveaway to North Korea, Treasury has now removed its objections to Macau releasing to Kim Jong Il’s regime some $25 million in North Korean funds frozen at the Banco Delta Asia since 2005. That amounts to paying nuclear blackmail, which is a great recipe not for security, but for spawning nuclear extortion rackets around the globe. The administration is assuring us, however, that this is just fine, because North Korea’s government has promised to do good things with the loot.
Specifically, as quoted in the Washington Post, Treasury official Daniel Glaser told the press in Beijing Monday that “North Korea has pledged within the framework of the six-party talks that these funds will be used solely for the betterment of the North Korean people, including for humanitarian and education purposes.”
Come again? He’s talking about the same North Korea government that has been counterfeiting U.S. currency, peddling narcotics, swapping weapons technology with Iran and pouring resources into maintaining one of the world’s largest armies and building intercontinental missiles and nuclear bombs during a decade in which an estimated one to two million North Koreans have starved to death.
But don’t blame Treasury, which has been doing plenty in the way of financial pressure to try to stop everything from Kim’s counterfeiting rackets to his rogue nuclear program — and been slapped down for its pains. This payoff to Kim is what comes of the White House turning over all North Korea policy to the State Department, and Condi Rice turning over all State Department policy to Jimmy-Carter-wannabe Chris Hill, envoy to the Six-Party talks. Hill, who is also in Beijing right now, not only wants to make sure Kim Jong Il gets the frozen millions back, but on Monday told reporters “We want it to happen as soon as possible.” Clearly Hill prides himself on getting things done, but what he’s doing at this point is not diplomacy. It could better be described as doing Kim Jong Il’s dirty laundry.