North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

Sometimes, the silence can be like thunder

US President Barack Obama’s “Why Can’t We Be Friends?” is officially over, and aside from US Special Envoy Stephen Bosworth’s arrival in the DPRK around 8 December, an auspicious date as perhaps The Bozz might accomplish a diplomatic immaculate conception in Pyongyang (farm stable or log cabin?).  The trickle of reports continues, but, let’s face it–little news was made.

Korea Herald has a tidy summary of the Obama-Lee meetings.  Kyodo News out of Japan has a pair of relevant reports.  One deals directly with the Obama-Lee meetings, but more interesting to East Asia watchers is a report of Chinese and Japanese agreeing to broad policy outlines in their relations, including resumption of the Six-Party Talks.  The best part of the preliminary pressing in the neighborhood are coming in editorials.  Korea Times is gracious when feeling slighted that ROK citizens did not have “a better chance” to see President Obama.  But the prize in opinion-making goes to another writer at KT , the author of the brilliantly titled, “Where’s the Beef?”

But as of this writing, the silence from Pyongyang is positively deafening.  The US military presence in the ROK was the subject of the North Korean press’ invective, but nothing about Obama’s trip.  It should be noted that  KCNA reported on President Obama’s inauguration in January, a first for the North Korean press.


This article was written on 19 Nov 2009, and is filled under DPRK External Relations, DPRK-US Relations, Inter-Korean Relations, Six Party Talks.

An affiliate of 38 North