Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Kim Jong-Il in China and ... Russia ???

Let's hope we'll see more of these....

What in the world is Kim doing in China and Russia? Could it be that he's exerting an effort to gain support of their position in the six-party talks, which is to say that these meetings actually hold water? The ministry of foreign affairs in Russia, however, refuted the claims that Kim was going to Russia. So what is going on? Is Mr. Kim changing his personality to a globe-trotter-jet-setting personality? Probably not…

Now listen to this: According to AFX and the Washington Post (quoted in Forbes), Mr Kim is allegedly in Shanghai overseeing China's economic success, but this is again--it seems--speculation.
But could it be that Mr. Kim indeed is in China to seriously address the six-party issues as well as making a Deng-light-like "southern trip" to illuminate his intentions to introduce capitalism in the hermit state? If anything, is there any hope?

What wondrous future we have ahead if Mr. Kim indeed embraced the Chinese economic development model. Surely a safer and more transparent path towards regional cooperation and security.

North Korea certainly has the natural resources to jump-start their economy, but it is doubtful whether it has the infrastructure, human capital, and technology to reach the growth of its neighbors. But then again, that would not be the goal. Beggars can’t be choosers and a few dollars in the pockets of local North Koreans would be better than eating bark and grass.

Am I getting ahead of myself? Certainly! Mr Kim’s trip will likely fade out of memory as we see future controversial saber-rattling dramas between Kim and Bush. But let’s keep hoping. That’s what us idealists are so good at. Optimism is our "opiate of the masses."

Link to WP Article
Link to Forbes Article

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