North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

LMB's Indecision, KJI in the Navy and Is HRC Pyongyang-bound?

Without sounding like the braying editorial board of Rodong Sinmun, is ROK President Lee Myung-bak playing with a full deck?  Is President Lee a few french fries short of a Happy Meal?  After brushing aside recent DPRK entreaties for Inter-Korean meetings, Yonhap reports President Lee will meet with the DPRK “anytime, anywhere” for a discussion on the North Korean nuclear program and outstanding abduction issues.  In all fairness the DPRK likes to hold these meetings on Shakedown Street, but it is a bit odd to see President Lee vacillate between course of action and another.

Kim Jong-il continues a week-long journey of guidance and inspection, having visited Unit 587 a naval unit of the KPA with top KPA brass.

And the US-DPRK talks won’t stop with Ambassador Bosworth’s trip to Pyongyang on 8 December.  The Bosworth-Kang talks in early December may set the stage for a meeting with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and some unknown North Korean interlocutor, perhaps Kang Sok-ju, or even General-Secretary Kim himself.


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  1. adamcathcart
    November 28, 2009

    It seems more than likely that the Chinese are quietly urging Hillary to take the step that you mentioned.

    According to the PRC Foreign Ministry:

    In any case, I would hope that Secretary HRC could meet with someone higher-level than Ri Gun; it seems Jack Pritchard and Nicole Finnemann spent several hours killing time with Ri Gun during their recent trip to Pyongyang. Anyway, the fact that Kim Jong Il already met with Pres. Clinton in 2009 and SecState Madeline Albright in 2000 would seem to indicate that he’s open to a meeting with HRC. French Envoy Jack Lang received no such honor, as the Dear Leader’s inspection tours took precedence.

    • nkleadershipwatch
      November 28, 2009

      Well, the North Koreans are good communist bureaucrats in terms of conducting these meetings in part-counterpart fashion. KJI probably has an axe to grind with the French. Although for image making reasons, he could have done himself a lot of p.r. favors meeting with the three quiet Americans earlier this week.

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This article was written on 27 Nov 2009, and is filled under DPRK External Relations, DPRK-US Relations, Inter-Korean Relations, Kim Jong-il, Six Party Talks.

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