Quote of the Day   Leave a comment

Re North Korea:

FAREED ZAKARIA (CNN): Do you think the Obama administration has handled this well?

BRET STEPHENS, FOREIGN AFFAIRS COLUMNIST, WALL STREET JOURNAL: I think, and painful and unnatural as it is for me to say this, I think they’ve handled it superbly, certainly in contrast to both predecessors, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

ZAKARIA: Both of whom fell for this …

STEPHENS: Both of whom fell for this story, but not understanding that this is a regime that doesn’t stay bribed and they manufacture crises in order to extract concessions from the West then you have a period of a year or two.

Meanwhile, the crisis serves the purpose of Kim Jong-un, or however, you say his name, because it helps consolidate his power base. We don’t want that to happen.

Now, I agree with Tom that China is the country that can solve this, but China is the country that will never solve this because their interests are two — I think they’ve had a conviction for a very long time that a reunified South Korea is a disaster for them.

It’s also potentially a humanitarian problem for them. I mean there are millions of Koreans who are going to be streaming north of the Yalu River if you have a disaster in Korea. So they are going to prop up this regime for a long time.

The Obama administration and Japan and South Korea, I doubt Russia, is going to have to engineer some kind of policy towards North Korea that works to make Kim’s rule shorter, that creates humanitarian avenues for North Koreans to leave, that puts public pressure on the Chinese to allow the underground — the North Korean Underground Railroad to move people to Mongolia or Thailand or however they get out.

But so far this administration has done better than anyone.

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1304/07/fzgps.01.html

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