Sunday, May 29

How to avoid a US military strike on North Korea

1. Appoint a US ambassador to South Korea who is fluent in Korean and with extensive experience in East Asia. Mark Minton, who is holding things down at the embassy in Seoul, is a career foreign service officer with extensive experience in East Asia; he seems to speak Japanese and passable Korean so he might be the Man for the Job. In any case, put someone in the post who is very knowledgeable about that part of the part of the world and Korea in particular.

2. Remove Christopher R. Hill from his assignment as head of the US delegation to the Six-Party Talks on the North Korean nuclear issue. Mr. Hill does not speak Korean, Japanese, or any Chinese dialect. He speaks Polish, Serbo-Croatian, Macedonian, and Albanian. Not speaking the lingo is not automatic disqualification for such a sensitive job but Mr. Hill is also an idiot. He's also an advocate of the Nanny School of foreign policy. This is where you lecture countries to try to get along, after you've put them together in an untenable position.

3. Also remove Hill from his new post as Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, for the reasons cited above.

4. President Bush should personally ask Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to read the riot act to Yakuza bosses who are overseeing drug trade in North Korea.

5. President Bush should personally ask Vladimir Putin to read the riot act to Russian mob bosses who are overseeing drug trade in North Korea. If Putin says to contact the Israeli government for that kind of help, whatever; just get the riot act read.

6. President Bush should personally explain to President Roh Moo-hyun that it would be very unwise for South Korean lobbies in the US to attempt to block John Bolton's appointment as Ambassador to the United Nations.

7. Remove Condoleezza Rice from her post as Secretary of State.

8. Ask Donald Trump if he could spare George for a year then make George the Interim Secretary of State. This would be until President Bush can find an appointee who is more interested in doing a job than winning a popularity contest with the most powerful Democrats and Republicans in Congress.

9. The US should cut off all negotiations and back channel discussions with the North Korean government until Kim Jong-il and his crew decamp. They will leave very quickly if they lose the help of the most powerful international crime syndicates.


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