Video: Pyongyang dialing down the rhetoric?

posted at 12:31 pm on April 14, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

It’s a measure of the Kim regime’s rhetoric of the past few months that Jim Clancy can describe a threat like “all the traitors will be wiped out to the last man” as an improvement.  The anniversary of the birthday of Kim Il-sung takes place tomorrow, but Clancy says there has been a small but noticeable reduction in the provocative elements in Pyongyang’s statements over the last 24 hours:

Two points to consider here.  First, Kim Jong-un hasn’t been seen in public for two weeks, Clancy reports, including — apparently — the observation of his grandfather’s birthday.  That seems a little odd, although Clancy doesn’t elaborate.  One would think the regime would put the young dictator on display to remind people of the dynastic continuity of the DPRK.  Second: Although Pyongyang sneered a bit at Seoul’s call for renewed talks, they didn’t reject the idea, either.

Perhaps this resulted from the declarations of renewed US-China cooperation on bringing North Korea to heel:

U.S. and Japanese officials say their countries are committed to new talks with North Korea if the reclusive communist government begins abiding by previous agreements on its nuclear program. …

Kerry also said the U.S. is committed to defending Japan and opposes any coercive action by China to seize territory under Japanese control in the East China Sea.

Kerry’s strong words of support Sunday for America’s ally come just a day after he promised new levels of U.S.-Chinese cooperation on a host of problems, most notably North Korea’s nuclear program.

Kerry is scheduled to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday and then return to the US later the same day.

The United States and China committed Saturday to a process aimed at ridding North Korea of its nuclear weapons, with the Obama administration gaining at least the rhetorical support of the only government that can exert significant influence over the reclusive North.

Specifically, Beijing agreed at least in principle to put more effort into denuclearizing the Korean peninsula.  Whether China follows through on that pledge is another matter, but the rhetorical support may have Pyongyang reconsidering its loose-cannon strategy of the last few months.

Still, if I was a betting man, I’d put some cash down on the prospect of a missile launch between now and tomorrow morning.  I don’t think Kim can afford to back down without some show of force at this point — assuming that Kim is running things at all.

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So the little tele tubby is being exposed for what he is. A dupe.

hip shot on April 14, 2013 at 12:34 PM

I saw this yesterday.
Korean targets.

About a minute in they show missile targets in US

danielreyes on April 14, 2013 at 12:36 PM

China tells NorKor commie to start some Shiite. Makes a lot of noise.
Enter America, the new capitulation, says hey everyone play nice.

NorKor out of the headlines, and China gets missile reduction from spineless Democrites-
Everyone go back to Dancing with the stars.

Catastrophe averted- Obama triumphs in giving way to another enemy.

Played.

FlaMurph on April 14, 2013 at 12:39 PM

He has downgraded his threat from “we will annihilate the imperialists” to “we will pimp-slap anyone who takes an extra Oreo”.

Greek Fire on April 14, 2013 at 12:40 PM

China the good guy. Yeah right. Puppetmaster of this whole sitcom.

Kerry yesterday told China we would cut back missile defense. That is one helluva good guy gesture by China to humbly accept that.

Limerick on April 14, 2013 at 12:44 PM

China the good guy. Yeah right. Puppetmaster of this whole sitcom.

Kerry yesterday told China we would cut back missile defense. That is one helluva good guy gesture by China to humbly accept that.

Limerick on April 14, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Bingo.

BallisticBob on April 14, 2013 at 12:52 PM

Come on, let`s not be surprised or upset by this. We all knew it`d end in a wimper with O in the White House.

ThePrez on April 14, 2013 at 1:11 PM

Kim’s young-un has to learn, like all young fellows, that the whole peacock routine goes absolutely nowhere. You eventually have to hit the guy or lose your girlfriend.

China the good guy. Yeah right. Puppetmaster of this whole sitcom.

Kerry yesterday told China we would cut back missile defense. That is one helluva good guy gesture by China to humbly accept that.

Limerick on April 14, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Still don’t think so. I still think it was internal, and that China didn’t want any of it from the beginning.

Axe on April 14, 2013 at 1:16 PM

*I can’t defend that opinion.

Axe on April 14, 2013 at 1:16 PM

Still don’t think so. I still think it was internal, and that China didn’t want any of it from the beginning.

Axe on April 14, 2013 at 1:16 PM

Got it. They crossed the Yalu by mistake. Defective compass or something.

Limerick on April 14, 2013 at 1:22 PM

I saw this yesterday.
Korean targets.

About a minute in they show missile targets in US

danielreyes on April 14, 2013 at 12:36 PM

Their map makes it look like Florida broke off at Georgia.

VegasRick on April 14, 2013 at 1:25 PM

Got it. They crossed the Yalu by mistake. Defective compass or something.

Limerick on April 14, 2013 at 1:22 PM

Assumes they were meant to remind us.

– but I said I couldn’t defend it. I can’t climb into that guy’s fat head, though we’d both fit into it if we could get the plane tickets.

*shrug* I just think everyone thinks of li’l Kim as China’s sock but li’l Kim.

Axe on April 14, 2013 at 1:27 PM

*would be

Axe on April 14, 2013 at 1:30 PM

Probably announce tomorrow that one of Kim’s brothers is now taking over…

albill on April 14, 2013 at 1:53 PM

Tomorrow the BBC airs ‘Panaorama’. It has refused to not broadcast it even after UK universities cried foul. A quote from the reporter:

He described North Korea as a “Nazi state” that practised the “most extreme form of censorship”.

He added: “It’s more like Hitler’s Germany than any other state in this world right now. It’s extraordinarily scary, dark and evil.”

I hope HA can grab the vid tomorrow.

Limerick on April 14, 2013 at 1:53 PM

First, Kim Jong-un hasn’t been seen in public for two weeks

…he’s at a weight loss clinic?

KOOLAID2 on April 14, 2013 at 1:58 PM

Got it. They crossed the Yalu by mistake. Defective compass or something.

Limerick on April 14, 2013 at 1:22 PM

When did the Chinese cross the Yalu? (recently)

I can’t find a mention of it – other than during the War.

Solaratov on April 14, 2013 at 2:03 PM

Kerry yesterday told China we would cut back missile defense.
Limerick on April 14, 2013 at 12:44 PM

That makes a lot of sense.//

Kind of like taking the snow tires off of your car…in anticipation of the approaching blizzard.

Solaratov on April 14, 2013 at 2:07 PM

Bmore, pls. photoshop that picture, with arugula hanging out of each side of the pig’s mouth.

Schadenfreude on April 14, 2013 at 2:22 PM

When did the Chinese cross the Yalu? (recently)

I can’t find a mention of it – other than during the War.

Solaratov on April 14, 2013 at 2:03 PM

That’s why I botched my tense up, above, and had to correct myself. I was trying to understand Limerick, and wound up fighting K I and K II at the same time. :) And I don’t know much about K I.

What I was trying to say is that any significant China move K I meant bad news for us; but any significant move K II would mean bad news for NK. (And if he’s still alive, he’d pee his pants.) But since China wants NK to look like SK, not the other way around . . .

Meh. I’ll shut up and learn. I’ll go read that book I read. I lean on Dyer for this stuff; a man can’t know everything, only pretend to know everything.

Axe on April 14, 2013 at 2:24 PM

Axe on April 14, 2013 at 2:24 PM

OK.

I thought I had missed something there.

A not unusual occurrence. :)

Solaratov on April 14, 2013 at 2:45 PM

First, Kim Jong-un hasn’t been seen in public for two weeks

Not good news. It’s never good news when a country’s leader disappears during escalation of tensions. Pretty good sign of an approaching war.

Kerry also said the U.S. is committed to defending Japan and opposes any coercive action by China to seize territory under Japanese control in the East China Sea.

Also not good newss china will not like that statement. Why would Kerry make that statement if china was playing ball. It’s a very provacative statement IRT to China.

Specifically, Beijing agreed at least in principle to put more effort into denuclearizing the Korean peninsula. Whether China follows through on that pledge is another matter, but the rhetorical support may have Pyongyang reconsidering its loose-cannon strategy of the last few months.

It’s in China’s interest to have NK nuke free. After all a missle can be targeted as easily for beijing as Toyko. Not sure if it would be enough to make Kim reconsider.

This could be a chnage in tempo or the calm before the storm. The fact Kim hasn’t been seen in a while is very worrying.

unseen on April 14, 2013 at 2:46 PM

That makes a lot of sense.//

Kind of like taking the snow tires off of your car…in anticipation of the approaching blizzard.

Solaratov on April 14, 2013 at 2:07 PM

it makes perfect sens eif you are a liberal. It’s why the liberals have fought star wars since Reagan. They believe that it is the missle defense that that angers ouor enemies and therefore if we remove the defense then our enemies will turn into our friends. the liberals thought star wars would cause WW3 and USSR would preempitively nuke us.

unseen on April 14, 2013 at 2:49 PM

Kerry yesterday told China we would cut back missile defense.
Limerick on April 14, 2013 at 12:44 PM

which pretty much tells anyone listening that China was supporting NK in all this.

unseen on April 14, 2013 at 2:50 PM

unseen on April 14, 2013 at 2:50 PM

Yep. Those trying to separate the China that crossed the Yalu and the China that plays ping pong need to check with their docs about a med change.

Limerick on April 14, 2013 at 2:54 PM

China’s handpuppet says: “Nuclear squirrel!

West dithers and Iran continues building its Islamic Bomb.

profitsbeard on April 14, 2013 at 2:56 PM

Yep. Those trying to separate the China that crossed the Yalu and the China that plays ping pong need to check with their docs about a med change.

Limerick on April 14, 2013 at 2:54 PM

Well if nothing else happens I got to say Well played China well played. Let the hound loose. Have it bark some move an army to the border then get Obama to cave on Missile defense. I’m sure Japan and other allies in the area are so gladdddd they are our allies at the moment.

unseen on April 14, 2013 at 3:06 PM

peace in our time says Kerry.

unseen on April 14, 2013 at 3:08 PM

Keep buying Chinese crap, what harm could it possibly do?

tdarrington on April 14, 2013 at 3:47 PM

It’s almost like watching a B-grade comedy starring Tyler Labine, in which he inherits the totalitarian state built up by his father (played by John Goodman or Nick Offerman).

Greek Fire on April 14, 2013 at 4:40 PM

Kerry also said …

Kerry’s strong words…

Kerry is scheduled to meet…

Forgive me if I am unimprssed.

About 30 or so years ago Kerry “also said” other things using “strong words” that turned out to be completely untrue and completely self serving. Basically, he lied.

farsighted on April 14, 2013 at 9:08 PM

About 30 or so years ago Kerry “also said” other things using “strong words” that turned out to be completely untrue and completely self serving. Basically, he lied.

farsighted on April 14, 2013 at 9:08 PM

Not only that, but you consider that “Strong words” from Hairy Kerry are like a 5-year-old throwing a baseball as hard as he or she can…it won’t go all that far.

MelonCollie on April 15, 2013 at 11:56 AM