[KS] Tariq Ali's Diary about North Korea

J.Scott Burgeson jsburgeson at yahoo.com
Sat Jan 21 06:23:11 EST 2012

In the current issue of the London Review of Books, there is rather amusing and dishy account of two of Tariq Ali's visits to North Korea in the early 1970s:


Ali makes some interesting claims, especially near the end:

"At one stage it appeared that the United States was going to buy out the North Koreans. Clinton despatched Madeleine Albright to Pyongyang in 2000 to do a deal – loadsamoney for the Kims, denuclearisation of sorts followed by a soft reunification with the South – but it didn’t go through. Bush had no interest at all in contact. Why? I got an answer of sorts after a public debate on the Iraq war in Berlin in 2003. My opponent was Ruth Wedgwood from Yale, an adviser to Donald Rumsfeld. Over lunch I asked her about their plans for North Korea. She was cogent. ‘You haven’t seen the glint in the eyes of the South Korean military,’ she said. ‘They’re desperate to get hold of the North’s nuclear arsenal. That’s unacceptable.’ Why? ‘Because if a unified Korea becomes a nuclear power, it will be impossible to stop Japan from becoming one too and if you have China, Japan and a unified Korea as nuclear states, it shifts the relationship of
 forces against us.’"

Fun stuff!

– Scott Bug
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