Since I live in Asia, I usually scan the Asian news. Lately there have been articles about the US freezing a Macao bank account,

What’s the big deal? The bank is known for it’s connection with the casinos there, and is suspected as the middle man in laundering North Korea’s counterfeit dollars. And of course, the son of the North Korean president lives in Macao, but I seem to be missing the link.

It wasn’t a lot of money (“only” 25 million dollars). Well, anyway, the account was now unfrozen, and the talks may resume, and the North may allow their plants to be inspected. Maybe some of this is due to some diplomacy by Bill Richardson  who visited North Korea last week.
Then there was the sudden friendship and energy agreements signed between China and Japan…it’s nice to see that the countries are making up and cooperating. But what does this have to do with North Korea? One article does mention how it fits: China will help Japan get back Japanese citizens kidnapped by North Korea. So Japan will help the six party talks. But how does this fit in with China, who is the only country with any leverage with North Korea?

Ironically, the answer is found in this political talk by Dick Morris:

Bush has drawn that noose tighter and tighter and tighter around the neck of North Korea and Iran.

What he did with North Korea is he realized that economic sanctions wouldn’t work. Because Kim Jong-il doesn’t give a damn how many of his people starve to death, as long as he gets his three meals every day, that includes caviar and a whole lot of other stuff. But he did realize that Kim Jong-il has a work ethic. This man has labored in the vineyards counterfeiting money, running the drug trade, laundering funds and engaging in all kinds of illegal activity. And he had this piggy bank in Macau, where he had $25 million in his own personal savings account. And George Bush told the Macau bank it could no longer use U.S. dollars.

And then China followed suit, with Bush’s urging, and closed down the piggy bank. And for him to get his money out of the bank, he’s got to start dismantling his nuclear weapons. And this infant, this man with a psychology of a seven-year-old, faced with not having his toys, is actually backing down in the nuclear issue. And I believe Bush will continue that pressure.

How did Bush and Rice get China to turn on a dime? One word — Japan. They went to China, and they said if North Korea goes nuclear, Japan is going to go nuclear. Self defense, deterrence. And if there’s one thing on earth that Beijing does not want, it’s a nuclear Japan. They’ve had some bad history together, chemistry that really didn’t work. So I think that that has been so successful, that diplomacy. And the son-of-a-gun won’t claim credit for it…

Yup. And maybe that’s a good thing.

Do you think Bill Richardson, who is running for president and would be a better one than Hillary wants it known by the present day Democratic left that he helped Bush score a diplomatic coup?

But then few of the Asian successes in the war on terror get noted.
Only bombs make the headlines. Sigh.

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Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. Her webpage is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket. 

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