UW Professor Leads Academic Discussion in North Korea

You can’t call it a negotiation or a peace talk when no Government reps are present.

When I first read the title of the above article, I wondered what sort of stuff this professor was smoking, but in reading the article and commentary from others on the discussion that was held, it seems to me like this was just a mock trial sort of deal. I think it’s great that this man is choosing to do something about a problem he is very concerned about, but in the grande scheme of things, only talks between the governments of North Korea and other nations will resolve any of the problems there.

What I do think Mr. Hellman has managed to accomplish, is showing the North Korean government and other governments of the world that talks in North Korea are possible and a positive outcome, for all parties involved, is even more possible. That is something I find to be very laudable. He’s setting an example for everyone, not just for our government and the idea that North Korea’s government might be more responsive to talks as a result of his effort is a thought that I find to be very encouraging.

I can’t say that I am up to date on the situation in North Korea. All I know is that Kim Jong Il is a very eccentric man, who might possibly be in need of prozac or lithium. Because I’ve never heard him speak or even read transcripts of some of his speeches, I cannot say that with any degree of certainty, all I can give you is the picture that has been painted for me by the American press.

What I can say is that I am very concerned about the circumstances with North Korea right now. I dislike the fact that our government has put North Korea on the back burner for so long. Given the larger issues that we were coping with in Iraq, however, it’s understandable that North Korea’s possibility of going nuclear would take a back seat. With China so close and having more resources than we do at this point in time, I can see why it was better to go after Iraq and leave North Korea for later, but entrusting global safety to China is also something I’m not terribly fond of.

I see this as a situation where it was a choice between the lesser of two evils. Sure, Hussein was a nut (as evidenced by the insanity prevalent in his sons), and Kim Jong Il may be a nut as well, but who presented the lesser danger to America at the time. There were no right answers at the time. The only thing to do was follow your instincts, and instinct led President Bush to Iraq.