Korea: August 25, 2003


 China says it will try to work out a deal to satisfy North Korea's fear that it might be attacked by America. While such an attack has never been US policy, it has been discussed in the American media. To a police state like North Korea, that the same as a government pronouncement. The northerners also fear American air power, and feel a vulnerability to a massive smart bomb attack. Apparently the US is willing to say something like "we won't do something we weren't planning to do anyway" if that will get some kind of deal out of the north. But any deal that stops nuclear weapons development in the north, in return for economic assistance, will require strict inspection procedures. The north has never shown any enthusiasm for this. But time is not on North Korea's side. Their economy and military are crumbling, as is the loyalty and efficiency of the government officials that run their police state. China, Russia and South Korea all fear hordes of starving North Korean refugees entering their nations and straining local facilities and budgets. But no one is optimistic about making any deals with North Korea, as the northerners have been very difficult to deal with in the past. 


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