Will Rice meet with North Korean representative?
China Confidential reports on rumors in Beijing diplomatic circles of a possible meeting between Rice and North Korean representatives during her current trip to Asia. Of course, what this would accomplish is open to speculation. But it would stem the foolish notion that somehow the only thing preventing North Korea from playing nuclear patty-cake is the refusal of the Bush administration to engage in one-to-one talks. The problem is that China is quite happy to have North Korea give the U.S. headaches, and no amount of outsourcing our foreign policy to China is going to save the day. China Confidential also has other timely reports, including the fact that the Japanese Prime Minister is very disappointed in the quality of U.S. intelligence regarding the North Korean nuclear program. It appears that North Korea is readying at least one and perhaps more new nuclear tests.
Amid widespread speculation that North Korea is about to detonate another nuclear device, diplomatic circles in Beijing are abuzz with rumors that China is trying to arrange a face-to-face meeting in the Chinese capital between US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and a North Korean representative.
At the same time, Tokyo sources say the US is mobilizing vessels, including guided missile carriers and destroyers, under cover of a naval exercise, for a blockade of North Korea. The US Seventh Fleet is based in Japan[...]