To which points I get the answer: “Okay, but it can’t hurt. Worth a try, eh?” Actually, when engagement makes money for the regime, and treats Pyongyangites to the spectacle of Americans bowing before statues, it does more to strengthen the status quo than to weaken it. In my book that’s a negative. But I would rather focus here on the near-unanimous assumption that in any “subversive engagement,” we will naturally be the subverting party. This complacency reflects the deep contempt for North Korean intelligence that one finds across the commentariat.The entire article is worth reading. Being Canadian, I had to laugh at this, though:
Typical of the media response was an article in Maclean’s on how Rodman’s Canadian minder, one of the two grinning white men in the photos and clips, was able to make friends with Kim Jong Un. Judging from the tone of the magazine piece, interviewer and interviewee are equally proud of this attainment, as if it reflected a quintessentially Canadian gift for getting along with everyone.The Macleans article in question is here.