Wanting Without Wanting

13 Apr

John Kerry, Yun Byung-se in SeoulI can’t quite express what makes me so angry about this photograph – I know, it’s the bowing. When did the secretary of state start conducting diplomacy like a politician shopping for votes?

Touching down in Seoul on Friday afternoon, Kerry met with South Korea’s new president, Park Geun-hye, and Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se. Despite some tough talk directed at North Korea, the tone was more conciliatory than in recent weeks, with Kerry and the South Koreans suggesting there was an opening for the government in Pyongyang to return to negotiations over its nuclear program.

“The real goal should not be reinforcing the fact that we will defend our allies, which we will, but it should be emphasizing for everybody the possibilities of peace, the possibilities of reunification, the possibilities of a very different future for the people of the Republic of Korea and ultimately North Korea,” Kerry said, referring to South Korea by its official name.

As Kerry spoke, U.S. and South Korean intelligence were reporting that North Korea had moved as many as five missiles into launch position on its east coast. The most worrisome of them is a new medium-range missile known as the Musudan, which could potentially reach Guam and U.S. bases in Japan.

And then, there’s that word, “reunification”.

What I want to see is an American administration a little less submissive to Seoul.

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