The White House said Wednesday that North Korea’s agreement to a moratorium on its nuclear testing is a “positive first step” to denuclearizing the Korean Penninsula.Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.
. . .
In announcing the agreement Wednesday morning, the State Department also said it will provide 240,000 metric tons of food to North Korea. The department reportedly stressed that the food was not directly connected to the nuclear agreement.
Of course John Kyl (R-AZ) saw things differently at the time.
“In announcing its agreement with North Korea, the Obama Administration is effectively violating long-standing U.S. policy not to link North Korean denuclearization commitments to food aid,” Kyl said in a news release. “This policy was affirmed by the State Department as recently as February, when it stated in a letter to me that ‘the Administration has no intention of rewarding North Korea for actions it has already agreed to take.’ In an October 2011 letter, Deputy Secretary of State William Burns also assured me that ‘any engagement with North Korea will not be used as a mechanism to funnel financial or other rewards to Pyongyang.’”Now we know how all this engagement turned out. Headline from Foreign Policy:
North Korean missile launch torpedoes Obama’s engagement strategy
They're probably guilty of mixing metaphors, but you get the idea.
This reminds me of a news report I published in 2009. Which I repeat here for nostalgic effect and because family celebrations have left me in no state to contribute effectively with original material.
Kim Outwits Obama - UN Outraged (from The Liberator Today, May 26, 2009)
UN High Commissioner for Intellectual Fairness, Clive Smith-Graves expressed outrage today at Kim Jong Il's punking of Barack Obama with his latest underground nuke test. "We strive for fairness in these battle of wits," explained the commissioner, "it's certainly beyond the pale for Kim to be engaged in such mental fisticuffs against an overmatched opponent." Only days before the test, the Obama administration was reportedly relaxed over the prospect of such a test. "I tell ya, they sucker punched us," said Rahm "Mickey" Emmanuel, Obama's handler. "Who'd a thunk that Kim saying he was going to conduct a test was any kind of warning. I tell ya, Obama has the talent to become a good fighter, but instead of that he's becoming a legbreaker to some cheap, second rate loanshark." When asked which loanshark he had in mind, Emmanuel declined to comment.
Smith-Graves explained that there are good reasons for UN rules for these sorts of affairs. "Allowing battles of wits to get out of hand can lead to real violence. It's like the class valedictorean teasing the schoolyard bully that he can't do his sums; the bully ends up breaking our hero's nose. I think we all have lived through this kind of situation," he sniffed. Asked what action the UN would be taking, Smith-Graves responded, "You know, the usual, feigned outrage, empty resolutions and private toasts that the U.S. has once again received it's well deserved comeuppance."