Friday, June 04, 2004
"NORTH KOREA'S DRUG HABIT"
Victor Cha argues that the results of the recent Koizumi-Kim meeting point to the conclusion that North Korea can be convinced by economic pressure:
After all, Japan has been pressing for the release of its citizens and their relatives since the day two years ago when Kim Jong Il admitted North Korea had kidnapped them. Yet it was not until Japan made clear it was prepared to curtail trade with the North — cutting off financial remittances to the North, imposing an import ban on North Korean goods, banning Japanese ships from making North Korean ports of call — that North Korea made any concessions.As the noose has tightened around DPRK missile exports, drugs may be the next target of opportunity:
As they continue their on-again, off-again diplomacy, the United States and Japan may find that North Korea's drug trade is a more visible component of the regime's threat. The good news, for the United States and its allies, is that the North's growing drug threat means that diplomacy aimed at eliminating its missile exports is working. The bad news, for North Korea, is that continued drug trafficking is not likely to be tolerated by the region.So the key to Kim Jong Il's heart is in his wallet!
If it continues to increase its trade in drugs, North Korea is likely to become the eventual target of a regional initiative to restrict the drug trade — which, in conjunction with the American-led curbs on its weapons trade, will put moderate yet deliberate pressure on North Korea. And if Japan's recent experience with abductees is any indication, such patient but comprehensive diplomacy may be the key to attaining Mr. Kim's flexibility on nuclear disarmament.