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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 1, 2008 / 25 Shevat 5768

In North Korea, Process Over Progress

By Michael Gerson


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | By my count, at least five former high-level Bush administration officials are deeply disillusioned with the current policy on North Korea.


This brewing discontent broke into open revolt two weeks ago when Jay Lefkowitz, the special envoy on North Korean human rights, committed the gaffe of stating the obvious: North Korea is not serious about nuclear disarmament. The current six-party talks will do little to change that fact. And the price we are paying to pursue those talks is silence about the suffering of a brutalized, friendless people.


Afterward, even some of Lefkowitz's supporters complained that he had ventured "out of his lane." Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice slapped the special envoy down hard, noting to reporters that he "doesn't know what's going on in the six-party talks." Lefkowitz's speech was quickly scrubbed from the State Department's Web site.


But Lefkowitz spoke after 2 1/2 years of frustration. The East Asia bureau at the State Department, headed by Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill, has consistently viewed the raising of human rights as an impediment to the serious work of negotiating with Kim Jong Il. The Korea desk tried and failed to exclude Lefkowitz from important policy meetings with the president. It attempted unsuccessfully to weaken the North Korea section in the State Department's annual human rights report. Human rights groups generally view Hill with great suspicion.


Some State Department officials working in nonproliferation and intelligence reportedly share Lefkowitz's dissatisfaction. But, as one former Bush official made clear to me, "Rice's treatment of Jay shows that you need to stay quiet if you want to stay in government."


Even critics of the current approach believe that the agreement reached last February was worth a try. After testing a nuclear weapon, North Korea was under serious international pressure. The U.N. Security Council passed a tough resolution that included economic sanctions. So North Korea promised to move away from its nuclear ambitions in stages, beginning with a freeze on work at its plutonium reactor and enrichment complex — though some experts suspected that the plant was already nearing the end of its useful life. In return, the North Koreans received pledges for 1 million tons of heavy fuel oil.


The problem has come in the months since. Having begun the path of negotiations, the State Department has consistently moved the goal posts closer to keep North Korea at the table. The second stage of compliance was supposed to be the permanent "disablement" of the plutonium complex, which is now interpreted as disablement that is irreversible for a year. Some experts believe it is actually reversible in a few months. To keep the process going, America has returned money that the North Koreans gained from money laundering, drug trafficking and proliferation.


And North Korea's nuclear disclosure, due at the end of 2007, was not even close to adequate. Kim declared 30 kilograms of plutonium but did not even mention uranium enrichment, weapons components or proliferation to Syria. This is a far cry from Libya's full disclosure in 2004, in which that nation sent its most sensitive nuclear program materials to a facility in Tennessee.


North Korea feels little pressure as a result of its noncompliance. China seems relieved that Kim hasn't recently misbehaved and urges patience. The South Korean government continues to hold up its end of a protection racket: To keep the peace, South Korea provides North Korea with aid, which is diverted to strengthen North Korea's military, which threatens South Korea, which gives more aid to keep the peace.


This is the problem of State Department "realism." Negotiations that begin as a means become the end itself — a kind of blind and dreamy faith in the magic of the process. Any form of criticism or coercion disappears, because "the North Koreans won't negotiate under pressure" — when, in the past, the North Koreans have negotiated only under pressure.


Kim's goal in the six-party talks is clear: He wants to trade a single, aging nuclear complex for the easing of sanctions. By all accounts, North Korea's supreme leader has the mentality and social skills of a troubled 13-year-old — but he seems to be doing remarkably well in these negotiations.


The alternative is not to end the talks or impose a blockade. It is, as Lefkowitz pointed out, to pursue a more sophisticated diplomacy familiar from the Cold War. Tie the improvement of relations to both security and human rights. Encourage the new South Korean government to demand more North Korean openness in exchange for resources and cash. Push the United Nations to identify North Korean entities for sanctions. Above all, talk about the rights of North Koreans once again, so the prisoners and the dead are not forgotten.


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Comment on Michael Gerson's column by clicking here.



Previously:


01/30/08: Compassionate to the end


© 2008, WPWG

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