Monday, December 13, 2004

This is Odd

It's rare that I have occasion to accuse the Bush administration of, well, having an excess of diplomacy but here we are.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A senior U.S. official said on Monday that North Korean leader Kim Jong-il is a ``rational’’ leader who would be able to transform his impoverished Stalinist state once he resolves the nuclear standoff with the international community.

``Many accusations that he (Kim Jong-il) is some sort of crazy person are not correct,’’ U.S. Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly said in an exclusive interview with The Korea Times at his office in the State Department. He said Kim’s leadership is one that is unique and rational.

Kelly, who heads the U.S. effort to deal with the North Korean nuclear crisis, dismissed the speculation the impoverished nation will collapse anytime soon.

``It would be a mistake to somehow suggest that the country is inherently unstable and its Army-first policy guarantees a kind of built-in stability,’’ said the leader of the U.S. delegation to the past three rounds of six-party talks aimed at peacefully resolving the crisis. The six parties are made up of South Korea, North Korea, China, Japan, Russia and the U.S.

(thanks to guy)