Bush Admin Targets Kim Jong Il's iPods, TVs

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In summary: in summary, the bush administration has banned the export of luxury items to north korea in an effort to irritate kim jong il. the policy is designed to show the shallow and ineffectual nature of our current efforts at diplomacy, while the potential for dialogue is there. the downside risk is that kim will simply find other ways to acquire the items he wants, and the policy has little chance of achieving its stated goals. on the plus side, this policy could lead to some productive dialog between north korea and the united states.
  • #1
turbo
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This really takes the cake! The Bush administration in its infinite wisdom has banned the export of luxury items to North Korea. Most of the high-tech goodies are actually made in China or elsewhere in Asia, so unless Bush is willing to blockade NK (and can convince the Chinese to agree to it), this policy cannot harm Kim, and only serves to point out how shallow and ineffectual our current foreign-relations programs are.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061129/ap_on_go_pr_wh/nkorea_ipod_diplomacy

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration wantsNorth Korea's attention, so like a scolding parent it's trying to make it tougher for that country's eccentric leader to buy iPods, plasma televisions and Segway electric scooters. The U.S. government's first-ever effort to use trade sanctions to personally aggravate a foreign president expressly targets items believed to be favored by Kim Jong Il or presented by him as gifts to the roughly 600 loyalist families who run the communist government.
This administration has a severe problem that has long-term implications for all of us. They stick labels like "terrorist" or "evil" on foreign governments, and then in a feigned show of moral absolutism, they refuse to engage in diplomacy with those countries because they are "terrorist" or "evil". Nice Catch-22! In the absence of dialog, divisions grow sharper and deeper, and any opportunities we might have had to encourage cooperation and make small gains here and there are squandered.
 
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  • #2
turbo-1 said:
This administration has a severe problem that has long-term implications for all of us. They stick labels like "terrorist" or "evil" on foreign governments, and then in a feigned show of moral absolutism, they refuse to engage in diplomacy with those countries because they are "terrorist" or "evil". Nice Catch-22! In the absence of dialog, divisions grow sharper and deeper, and any opportunities we might have had to encourage cooperation and make small gains here and there are squandered.

I agree with your point as to the Bush Administration's absence of dialogue. But for the Bush White House, this attempt to block these goods is a great step. It is the first thing Bush has succeeded in doing with support from the UN, and that is crucial towards getting a single voice in dealing with N Korea. I see little downside risk, but great upside prospects for some cooperation.

Kim is known to use his controlled wealth to win/reward those who carry out his tough policies, while much of the nation lives under durress and poverty. So, in these regards, I think it is a good non-aggressive step against a man who, at the very least, has not presented himself as friendly towards the rest of the world -though Bush hasn't been a saint either!

Perhaps this may lead to some productive dialogue.
 
  • #3
McGyver said:
I agree with your point as to the Bush Administration's absence of dialogue. But for the Bush White House, this attempt to block these goods is a great step. It is the first thing Bush has succeeded in doing with support from the UN, and that is crucial towards getting a single voice in dealing with N Korea. I see little downside risk, but great upside prospects for some cooperation.
I think that it is an impotent-looking move. Bush cannot stop the flow of luxury goods into NK without the cooperation of China and other allies in the region. This is not going to happen.

McGyver said:
Kim is known to use his controlled wealth to win/reward those who carry out his tough policies, while much of the nation lives under durress and poverty. So, in these regards, I think it is a good non-aggressive step against a man who, at the very least, has not presented himself as friendly towards the rest of the world -though Bush hasn't been a saint either!

Perhaps this may lead to some productive dialogue.
Bush has to actually pursue dialog if we are to engage in it. Pretending to stop high-tech imports into NK will not hurt Kim and it makes a mockery of diplomacy. Bush and his minions reject incremental progress in foreign policy. They take a scorched-earth policy in which a country has to either toe their neo-con line or be an "enemy", "evil", "terrorist", etc. This is not the way to conduct foreign policy.
 
  • #4
i think the idea is in the right place because unlike many other sanctions, its only the upper class that are going to be effected. i can't see the policy being vary effective though since the upper class are the people most likely to find ways around these sanctions, but at least its a effort in a positive direction.

mind you, i don't think this sanction is expected to be a solution to anyone, but only part of a solution.
 
  • #5
I think Kim Jong Il buys hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of wines and cognacs from France each year.
 
  • #6
turbo-1 said:
I think that it is an impotent-looking move. Bush cannot stop the flow of luxury goods into NK without the cooperation of China and other allies in the region. This is not going to happen.

It may seem impotent, but this is a different and targeted move to isolate the "root" of what keeps Kim so powerful. It will certainly have some impact on ease of availability of items, and be food for thought for those who circumvent it - and help to identify them as well!

turbo-1 said:
Bush has to actually pursue dialog if we are to engage in it. Pretending to stop high-tech imports into NK will not hurt Kim and it makes a mockery of diplomacy. Bush and his minions reject incremental progress in foreign policy. They take a scorched-earth policy in which a country has to either toe their neo-con line or be an "enemy", "evil", "terrorist", etc. This is not the way to conduct foreign policy.

This move to restrict the flow of luxury items into a poor hostile country will certainly lead to some exchange of "dialogue," be it friendly or foe. It is a form of negative reinforcement, widely used by Conservatives and Repubs. As Kim is so powerful within his own country, I believe one needs to expose some of his own hypocracies to his own people - and this may well do so.

Inevitably, some day, Kim will loose power as he knows it today. The graver concern with N Korea having nucs at some point, is what an uprising or rebel group might do with them - not to mention their million man army. Any form of dialogue or interaction between N Korea and the rest of the world is progress - which is 50 years overdue. China has come around. The world now awaits the return of N Korea to the international community!
 
  • #7
Most of the high-tech goodies are actually made in China or elsewhere in Asia, so unless Bush is willing to blockade NK (and can convince the Chinese to agree to it), this policy cannot harm Kim, and only serves to point out how shallow and ineffectual our current foreign-relations programs are.

They can't do a blockade, that would constitute an act of war.
 
  • #8
turbo-1 said:
This administration has a severe problem that has long-term implications for all of us. They stick labels like "terrorist" or "evil" on foreign governments, and then in a feigned show of moral absolutism, they refuse to engage in diplomacy with those countries because they are "terrorist" or "evil". Nice Catch-22! In the absence of dialog, divisions grow sharper and deeper, and any opportunities we might have had to encourage cooperation and make small gains here and there are squandered.
That's not a catch-22, a catch-22 is a situation where a person loses regardless of what choice they make. In this case, there is another choice that can be made that voids the label...
 

Related to Bush Admin Targets Kim Jong Il's iPods, TVs

1. What is the significance of the Bush administration targeting Kim Jong Il's iPods and TVs?

The Bush administration saw Kim Jong Il's possession of these luxury items as evidence of his lavish lifestyle and disregard for the economic struggles of his people. It was also seen as a way to pressure North Korea into dismantling its nuclear program.

2. How did the Bush administration target Kim Jong Il's iPods and TVs?

The Bush administration imposed sanctions on the export of luxury goods to North Korea, which included items like iPods and TVs. This was part of a larger effort to isolate and pressure the North Korean regime.

3. Did these measures have any effect on North Korea's behavior?

It is difficult to determine the direct impact of the sanctions on North Korea's behavior. However, they were seen as a symbolic gesture and were part of a larger strategy to address the country's nuclear program. Ultimately, North Korea continued to pursue its nuclear ambitions despite these measures.

4. Did other countries join in on the sanctions against North Korea?

Yes, several countries including Japan, South Korea, and the European Union joined in on the sanctions against North Korea. However, some countries like China and Russia were more reluctant to impose strict measures, as they have closer economic and political ties with North Korea.

5. Did the Bush administration's targeting of Kim Jong Il's iPods and TVs receive any criticism?

Yes, these measures were criticized by some as being ineffective and distracting from more pressing issues, such as finding a diplomatic solution to North Korea's nuclear program. Others argued that the sanctions could harm ordinary citizens in North Korea and further isolate the country from the international community.

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