Like some horror movie that just won’t end, Jimmy Carter’s love affair with North Korea keeps rolling along. Now on his third pilgrimage to the Kim dynasty’s totalitarian state, Carter arrived Tuesday in Pyongyang, with a trio of fellow ex-leaders in tow, from Finland, Ireland and Norway. From Pyongyang, he’s now blogging away, under the down-home caption, “Jimmy Carter’s blog from North Korea.”
At least, I assume it’s really Jimmy Carter writing this cant, though it reads like copy fresh out of Pyongyang’s own propaganda mill. There’s an attempt at cracker-barrel diplomacy, in which Carter enthuses about the “warm and friendly” reception that he and Rosalynn received in 1994 from North Korea’s late Stalin-installed tyrant Kim Il Sung, and calls it “a privilege” to visit again today. North Korea, he says, is “a place that is quite mysterious to most people.”
Apparently North Korea is especially mysterious to Carter, who seems not to have acquainted himself with the North Korean regime’s long record of running a racketeering, nuclear-extortionist slave state. Among the mind-bending prattle in his blog piece is this statement: “My country, the United States, is South Korea’s guarantor, which creates enormous anxiety among the North Korean people and drains their political energy and resources.” In other words, the problem here is not the tyranny in North Korea, but the good ol’ United States. For Carter to be writing this might be defensible if Kim Jong Il were threatening to keep him in in North Korea for the rest of his days, and maybe pack him to the North Korean gulag. But no such luck. This is Jimmy Carter as usual — taking careful notes on the propaganda presented to him by totalitarian butchers, packaging this toxic twaddle as his own insights, and purveying it as treasure picked up during his adventure-tours of faraway places.
He goes on to lament that “[n]either the US nor South Korea is at this time willing to assist with the desperate food shortage in North Korea.” One might suppose that the North Korean government itself could do plenty to ease this food shortage, were Kim to stop pouring resources into missiles and nuclear weapons development, and permit the North Koreans enough freedom to live normal lives. But that’s not where Carter’s going with his message.
The punch line of Carter’s Pyongyang blog is — and here comes the next North Korean shakedown — “We are hearing consistently throughout our busy schedule here in Pyongyang that the North wants to improve relations with America and is prepared to talk without preconditions to both the US and South Korea on any subject.”
On really? Actually, along with monstrous treatment of its own people, North Korea’s regime has already indulged in a number of murderous “preconditions,” including last year’s sinking of a South Korean navy ship, shelling of a South Korean island and the continuing UN-sanctions violating vending of weapons to the Middle East. Now they’re in the mood to chat. And though they may be hinting right now at no “preconditions,” apparently there is already a post-condition. Sounding ever more like one of the North Korean officials whose words he is laboring so diligently to absorb, Carter stipulates a “sticking point”: The North Koreans “won’t give up their nuclear programme without some kind of security guarantee from the U.S.”
We’ve been here before. Repeatedly. When North Korea comes to the table, its negotiations turn into an endless series of sticking points, the real point being that North Korea’s regime has no intention whatsoever of giving up its nuclear program, but doesn’t mind taking whatever it can get — free food, free fuel and a free pass — while at the table.
Strange that this stuff is titled “Jimmy Carter’s blog from North Korea.” A better description would be “North Korea’s blog from Jimmy Carter.”