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This article appears in the June 12, 2009 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

LaRouche Calls for U.S. Direct Dialogue

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June 6—Lyndon LaRouche called this week for the Obama Administration to engage in direct diplomacy with North Korea, to avoid a needless confrontation. He observed that it is known that North Korea is in some phase of a leadership succession process, and is also facing famine and other forms of economic catastrophe. LaRouche explained:

The challenge is to get them to open up, and for the U.S. to find out what the story is. A high-level Presidential emissary should go to Pyongyang and meet with their top leadership. Ask them: 'What is your problem? Maybe we can help.' In short, we need to engage in actual diplomacy.

Diplomacy is all about getting the other side to tell you what they want. This is especially important, when you have a relationship between a great power and a lesser power. Very often, aggressive behavior by a lesser power is aimed at getting help in solving a problem. So, the key to good diplomacy, under such circumstances, is to be generous. This will help you in the long run.

The second nuclear bomb test carried out by North Korea on May 24 has provoked a quandary among the other members of the Six-Party Talks—the U.S., Japan, China, Russia and South Korea. While the Obama Administration is calling for a strong response, there is wide recognition that new sanctions will have no more effect than past sanctions in convincing Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons program. China and Russia, although they agree that the Korean Peninsula should be free of nuclear weapons, consider sanctions a fruitless and provocative exercise, especially as long as North Korea has legitimate security concerns. Negotiations in New York for a UN resolution are stalled, while a high-level U.S. team is touring Japan, South Korea, China, and Russia in an attempt to win agreement on sanctions, and lay plans for longer term contingencies.

North Korean strongman Kim Jong-il, who has been in failing health since his stroke in August, is thought by South Korean intelligence to have turned to the hard-liners in the defense establishment, needing their support to assure his choice of a successor, and to deal with the economic crisis. Several top officials were purged who had been responsible for the growing collaboration with the South during the last two South Korean administrations; and in May, Pyongyang cancelled the contracts with the 100 South Korean firms with factories in the North Korean town of Kaesong, demanding higher pay and other concessions for the 38,000 North Koreans who work there.

Pyongyang also accused the South Korean government of President Lee Myung-bak of declaring war on the North by joining the Proliferation Security Initiative, in reaction to the second nuclear test. The PSI, a creation of neocon John Bolton during his days as U.S. ambassador to the UN, was designed to justify searching North Korean ships suspected of transporting nuclear weapons. Seoul refused to join at the time, but has now reversed that decision, reportedly under U.S. pressure.

The Problem Is Globalization

This is the environment of heightened danger of confrontation in which LaRouche has issued his call for direct dialogue. He elaborated on his call, in order to place the issue in the context of the global crisis, citing the problem that has become more pronounced, globally, in the post-Soviet era.

Under the globalization system, most governments around the world, including that of Russia today, have gotten so obsessed with moneymaking, that they fail to implement policies that actually improve the productivity of their economies, that ensure actual economic development. In Russia, just to cite that as an example, you have a priority on raw material extraction, especially oil and gas, for monetary gain. There is no real investment in infrastructure, in high-technology industry, in scientific education. The world is gripped by Adam Smith British ideology. That is the sin of globalization. Either you destroy globalization, and put productivity and development over quick-fix monetary profit, or global civilization is going to be destroyed—very soon.

LaRouche concluded,

Most conflicts in the world today stem from this disease. Everybody is behaving idiotically. Why not focus on the real enemy: unemployment and hunger? With that as a starting point, and with patient American diplomacy, we can solve this North Korea situation, relatively easily.

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