Big news, citizens… the Korean War may be over soon!
Of course, this may come as news to later generations of readers who probably assumed that the war ended back in the 50s. But it never actually ended on paper… they simply came to a truce, putting the war on hold essentially for eternity. (Or at least until now.) But this week the Norks seemed to put an offer on the table to scrap the entire affair once and for all. (Fox News)
North Korea reportedly rejected the idea of resuming talks to abandon its nuclear program on Saturday, but said it would welcome negotiations for a peace treaty with Washington.
North Korea’s foreign ministry made the statement one day after President Obama and South Korean President Park Geun-hye said they were ready to open talks with Pyongyang on sanctions if they were serious about dissolving its nuclear program, according to Reuters.
“If the United States insists on taking a different path, the Korean peninsula will only see our unlimited nuclear deterrent being strengthened further,” the North said in a statement.
North and South Korea are still technically at war after signing a truce in 1953 to temporarily end their conflict.
So just to be clear, Kim Jong-un’s people are not talking about stopping or even restricting their nuclear weapons program. They aren’t going to end their saber rattling against their neighbors to the south. In fact, they aren’t going to change a single thing in terms of the reasons that the entire civilized world aside from China and a few other communist holdouts have ostracized them. But they are willing to talk about a peace treaty with the United States.
That’s nice, isn’t it? If it happened it would give John Kerry a chance to hang another “agreement” on the wall for his legacy as the Secretary of State. (And given what this one would be worth, it’s probably an excellent match for the Iran deal.) But how would this work? During his meeting with South Korean President Park Geun-hye, Barack Obama said that we were “ready” to talk about an agreement, but that seemed to be based on the idea that North Korea would disarm. Failing to hinder somebody’s nuclear ambitions hasn’t stopped him from coming to the table in the past, however, so what would we be giving up to the Norks for such a deal? No doubt some increases in shipments of food and other humanitarian assistance, as well as some fuel I imagine. And in exchange for that we would get…
A piece of paper.
Why would North Korea give up their nukes at this point? They’ve gained the respect they wanted in terms of bringing the real world powers to the table with them and they don’t seem to be in any imminent danger of being attacked. They saw what happened to their partners in Libya when they gave up their program. (Muammar el-Qaddafi was unavailable for comment.) Honestly, why would we waste any more time talking to Kim Jong-un? Unless and until he starts lobbing some actual missiles at someone we’re likely better off leaving his country to starve.