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Posted by on Oct 20, 2006 in At TMV | 18 comments

Aww: Kim Is Sorry

“I’m sooo sorry!”

The AP (via Breitbart) reports that Kim Jong-Il has apologized to a Chinese envoy for North Korea’s nuclear test.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Il expressed regret about his country’s nuclear test to a Chinese delegation and said Pyongyang would return to international nuclear talks if Washington backs off a campaign to financially isolate the country, a South Korean newspaper reported Friday.

“If the U.S. makes a concession to some degree, we will also make a concession to some degree, whether it be bilateral talks or six-party talks,” Kim was quoted as telling a Chinese envoy, the mass- circulation Chosun Ilbo reported, citing a diplomatic source in China.

Kim told the Chinese delegation that “he is sorry about the nuclear test,” the newspaper reported.

The delegation led by State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan met Kim on Thursday and returned to Beijing later that day _ ahead of U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s arrival in the Chinese capital Friday. China is viewed as a key nation in efforts to persuade the North to disarm, as it is the isolated communist nation’s main trading partner.

That is of course very much unlike Kim Jong-Il. So, one might wonder, what happened the last couple of days? The Telegraph has the answer: China told not to carry out second nuclear test:

China delivered a blunt message to North Korea yesterday when it told its leader, Kim Jong-il, that he must not proceed with a second nuclear weapons test.

After China’s state media suggested for the first time that Beijing might sever North Korea’s oil supplies, a move which could conceivably precipitate the collapse of Kim’s regime, a senior envoy arrived in Pyongyang to hand down a “personal message” from China’s president, Hu Jintao.

And suddenly it all makes sense.

Kim thought that he would be able to – once again – blackmail the world. It now seems that China, NK’s big brother, decided to put an end to it. China does not want Kim’s regime to fall, but on the other hand, it does not want a neighbor that’s destabilizing the region and causing South Korea and Japan to develop nuclear weapons either.

Let’s now hope that China will continue this new, tough approach towards North Korea. Kim Jong-Il knows that he is finished at the moment China withdraws its support from him.

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Copyright 2006 The Moderate Voice
  • Robert Bell

    Reminds me of the original Godfather movie, as in “They made him an offer he couldn’t refuse”.

  • lol yeah.

    I wonder whether they put the head of a dead horse in his bed while he was sleeping?

  • C Stanley

    I;m still irked about his comments about US concessions though. Seems he’s still trying to milk it; maybe Carter should fly over there and deliver a printing press so Kim can crank out some more counterfeit US currency, that will get him back to the negotiating table (sorry for the snark)

  • Rudi

    Maybe the UN works better than no hat Cowboy diplomacy. I was hoping for another 500K dud bomb. Let them eat Pu instead of rice cakes.

  • The funny thing about this all is that it’s not the UN who does it. It is China itself, individually. China already told the world that it will not do as asked in the resolution. However, seemingly China is willing to put pressure on Kim Jung-Il outside of the normal institutions.

  • CS: also, I want to make one thing very clear: I am not saying that the US should make any consessions. In fact, I would hope that Kim Jung-Il’s regime will collaps. Both for the sake of the region and for the sake of the North Korean people who are being starved to death by their own leader while he is watching ‘adult movies’.

  • AustinRoth

    Kim is specifically bringing up the financial embargo we have tried to impose, in retaliation to their (very successful) counterfeiting operations. Those operations actually provided NK with a significant portion of their hard currency for trade (as they have little real assets or currency, beyond selling WMD’s), and therefore removing the sanctions is paramount to maintaining their economy and regime.

    In the end, they are trying (and potentially succeeding) in accomplishing their goal – set off a test bomb, and then promise to stop if we let them start counterfeiting again. What a deal!

    Who wants to bet that the UN gets behind this, and if we refuse to be blackmailed, that the Bush administration will then be attacked by the UN (and Democrats) as unresponsive, unilateral and war-mongering?

  • Rudi

    UN China and the Norks – Check
    UN Lebanon – Check
    With limitted expectations the UN can do things when diplomacy is used instead of unilateral demands. The uber-hawk Bolton gives way to the communicator/negotiator Bolton.

  • C Stanley

    MvdG: I didn’t mean to imply that you endorsed any kind of concessions. I agree that if China will continue to take a tough stance against NK, that there is chance of Kim backing down, just that I hope no one is fooled into complacency with him.

  • Tommy

    Oh no! This is terrible news! Clearly China should be appeasing Kim, not getting tough. We need more diplomacy and terms of appeasement, not this “cowboy” rhetoric from China. You know, we need a more Democratic approach to things.

  • Holly in Cincinnati

    I have no objection to China sitting on North Korea.

  • Jim S


    I doubt the average North Korean could care less about him watching ‘adult movies’. OTOH, imagine if they knew about his culinary adventures while they starve.

  • Kim Ritter

    Its a great relief that the Chinese finally decided to take some responsibility for ensuring the stability and security of the region. It definitely is in China’s best interest to reign in Kim Il Jong, and so is a diplomatic victory for the Six Party talks.

  • Kevin H

    I think China didn’t put its sanctions through the UN because it doesn’t want to give any power/credibility to the UN for fear of it turning around and sanction China for its human rights abuses. Makes the most sense for them to do it alone, especially because their lone influence has a huge effect on NK. But, Tommy, China only has such a huge effect because they had been giving carrots to NK instead of sticks. Effective dilomacy uses both, but with the Bush Admin its sticks or nothing. THAT is cowboy diplomacy.

  • Kim Ritter

    Great point, Kevin H! The sticks just tend to antagonize our enemies and put them in a position where they can either be humiliated or stand up to the big bully from the West- I noticed Ahmadinejad announced he’s going to start selling enriched uranium in 5 years!

  • C Stanley

    Uh, don’t either of you guys think that it’s appropriate to use carrots to reward desirable behavior and sticks to deter undesirable? Since it was pretty much known since 98 that Kim was cheating on the terms of the deal that was arranged when he was given carrots, why would we give him more carrots?

    I’m not trying to defend Bush here, just saying that sometimes there are reasons why a country has to be treated with a “stick” approach. I think that Bush could have done it differently and better, but I don’t think it is an issue where Kim should have been offered any carrots for the way he has behaved.

  • Tommy

    But, Tommy, China only has such a huge effect because they had been giving carrots to NK instead of sticks

    Whatever. Without China, NK would be a babe in the woods. They have more leverage with NK simply because NK is much more dependent on them than NK has ever been on us.

  • Kim Ritter

    Tommy is right. I never understood until recently, how important the Chinese were to the success of the negotiations. Kim probably increases his power and prestige when he spits in our eye, but doesn’t dare do the same to China. He knows his regime would collapse without the Chinese. I have to congratulate Rice for getting the Chinese to cooperate, since they have balked at reining him in up until now.

    CS- I think you can simultaneously use both carrots and sticks, but if you threaten with a stick, you have to be prepared to actually use it. I also think you can use both group and direct diplomacy-or backdoor diplomacy if we don’t have diplomatic relations. Baker just visited Syria and Iran to discuss their regional role in Iraq, so we are using it.

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