The Washington Post consults experts who conclude that the Administration’s announced policy toward North Korea of containment through multilateral efforts to exert economic pressure is doomed to failure. This is because 1) other countries, especially China, will not cooperate, and 2) in any event, North Korea is already desperately poor, but Kim Jong’s hold on power shows no sign of weakening.
The article is interesting mostly for its account of North Korea’s ever-declining economy. As to the futility of the policy of containment, I think the experts are probably right. It is interesting, however, that if you substitute the word “Russia” for “China,” virtually the same article could have been written to demonstrate why multilateral efforts at containment, as pursued by the Clinton Administration and advocated by Colin Powell, would not work in Iraq. The experts consulted by the Post on North Korea offer no suggestion as to what would work; here as always, opposing whatever policy is pursued by the Bush Administration is deemed sufficient.
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