Monday, May 16, 2005

Is China Hoping For a Munich Agreement With North Korea?

If so, it's doomed to learn the mistake of appeasement all over again, to the cost of us all. This excellent article details some of the steps being discussed by the U.S. and Japan to contain the threat of Kim Jong-Il, and it seems to me that their approach is fundamentally right. China, however, is another story.

A senior Chinese official, Yang Xiyu, told The Times in an interview published last week that it was true that "we do not yet have tangible achievements" in ending North Korea's nuclear weapons program. "But a basic reason for the unsuccessful effort lies in the lack of cooperation from the U.S. side." He cited Mr. Bush's references to Kim Jong Il, the North Korean leader, as a "tyrant" who keeps dissidents in concentration camps.

China is concerned about, among other things, a flood of refugees across its border if sanctions are imposed. It is of paramount importance, then, that we assure China that we will assist them financially and logistically, preferably with the help of other U.N. Security Council members, in the event of a mass sanctions-caused migration. Playing the ostrich will do the Chinese no good in the long run. We tried reasoning with Kim and he brazenly ignored our agreements. We've moved past that. Too bad China hasn't.

No comments: