December 22, 2011
U.S. Should Have Secret Talks With China
Douglas Paal, The Diplomat
The death of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il increases the likelihood that the stress on the multiple fault lines in Korean society will reach the point of breaking. Secret talks with China to plan for contingencies have long been overdue. They are needed now more than ever.
As many note, in the initial phase of the succession, the roughly 600,000 in the privileged North Korean elite can be expected to adhere to each other. The operating principle is the old phrase from Ben Franklin: all hang together, or all hang separately.
For the ordinary abused North Korean, the repression system will retard efforts to seize the opportunity for change presented by a new and untested leader. But as time passes, the fault lines can be expected to make...
TAGGED: North Korea, United States, China