This is old news, by the way. Just on my mind.
Ah, President Chimp. Always willing to take time out from Defending the Free World, snorting cocaine off the bellies of teenage hookers (Note : this is an unsubstantiated statement. I have no proof. Honest. None.) and passing out after swilling too much beer choking on pretzels to wave a finger and lay waste to nearly five years of slow, careful diplomacy. A Korea Herald Op/Ed piece today lays it out in some detail :

“Unfortunately, inter-Korean relations began to wind down from the elation of the Kim-Kim summit talks in June 2000 when Bush was sworn in as U.S. president with a conservative mandate in January 2001. Pyongyang’s ties with Washington also began to become frigid after Bush voiced strong suspicions about Kim Jong-il in his later talks with President Kim in Washington.
After several months of reviewing U.S. relations with North Korea, the Bush administration offered to have a comprehensive dialogue with Pyongyang, pledging to hold discussions “any time, any place, without preconditions.” But when Pyongyang was weighing the offer, terrorists with Islamic fanaticism attacked the United States on Sept. 11, which dampened the prospects of an early resumption of dialogue.
The United States is saying that despite the terrorist attacks, the offer of unconditional dialogue is still valid. In a move that makes it difficult for Pyongyang to accept the offer, Washington is also claiming that North Korea poses a potential threat to U.S. security both as what it calls a “rogue state” supporting terrorists and as a producer of weapons of mass destruction. “

I was living in Australia when President Kim Dae Jung visited North Korea. I watched on TV as he shook hands with Kim Jong-il, and sentimental bastard that I am, I misted up. The dangerous halfwit that is ostensibly at the American helm has perpetrated all manner of outrage on the world since his inauguration, and no doubt will continue to do so, and perhaps this particular arrogance is low on the scale of importance. And I will grant that it is true that the regime in North Korea cannot be trusted, and occasionally appear, if not completely whacked out, at least to have a very tenous grasp on reality.
But, while the Americans continue to play their games, another million children might die of starvation in the North when the next famine hits. Sure, it’s the fault of Kim Il Sung and his cartoonish son and the government they created. But if there were an opportunity to hasten its demise, or at least soften its hardline, and prevent those deaths, and it were so clearly within their power, don’t you think the Americans could at least give it a shot? No, of course not. Foolish of me to think that, dreamer that I am.
A brief summary : with the blessings of the previous US Administration, Kim Dae Jung (who I repeat, for the benefit of those who have started following all this recently, has been referred to as the “Asian Nelson Mandela” and has received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2000 for his ‘sunshine policy’ in attempting to end the 50-year war between North and South Korea) embarked on a mission over the first 4 years of his presidency to open a dialogue with North Korea. Almost immediately after Bush was sworn in, he made it clear that, Peace Prize or no Peace Prize, there was no way that he’d support further efforts toward ending hostilities on the peninsula.
It is, of course, no coincidence that there are 44,000 US troops here, and peace, let alone reunification, would leave them without much to do.
Several months after Bush’s initial meeting with Kim Dae Jung, the American administration offered to meet with North Korea unconditionally out of one side of its mouth, while proclaiming out of the other that they pose a threat to U.S. security as a “rogue state”. This virtually guarantees that North Korea, historically hypersensitive to hyperbole like this, will not participate in any talks, let alone propose them. A fait accompli.
Quiz : The corner that the Bush regime now has South Korea, their ally, backed into, is a minor miracle of :
a) Diplomatic sleight-of-hand
b) realpolitik
c) clear thinking
d) cheese, glorious cheese
Vote now, vote often!
Update : Sorry, when I posted this last night, I forgot to add option (e) Pure, unmitigated evil. Thanks for playing.

Politics Chafe My Scrote