Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mr. President?

In addition to sharing cupcakes with longtime White House correspondent Helen Thomas, the President had a pretty good birthday today. As a result of former President Clinton's visit, North Korea has pardoned the two imprisoned journalists who illegally entered the DPRK a few months ago.

Some people seem to think that this development is representative of a mild thaw in the relations between the United States and North Korea. (On a side note, I wonder if the Korean photographer demanded that President Clinton not smile for this picture.) I can only hope that our diplomats and wonks are putting in a few extra hours a week to make sure they're handling this the right way.

While I've never been truly afraid of the United States being subject to some kind of horrific nuclear attack, it occurs to me that North Korea's future will involve one of two things: a catastrophic collapse into a puddle of economic goo, or a wild, button-pushing nuclear attack frenzy. The real question is which will happen first.

I'm having a rare moment where I'm able to channel the feelings of all conservatives in North America: the Clinton family is on the case in North Korea...panic! If Chelsea flies to Pyongyang in order to seduce Kim Jong-un, then we'll really have something going.

I jest, of course. I really do hope the former president and the Secretary of State can help President Obama find a lasting solution to the North Korea problem. In the meantime, though, I'll refrain from letting frowny photo ops get my hopes up.

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