The driver of my latest attempt to turn the News of the Day from a dry list of stories into a thematic column actually comes from what many call “another Chinese province” - i.e., Stalinist North Korea. The Kim Jong-il regime has been a master of breaking, remaking, and getting new concessions for repeating old promises. In this case, it involves the most outrageous of the regime's many sins against outsiders: the abduction of citizens of Japan and South Korea.
In the past, KJI's clique has admitted to kidnapping 13 Japanese between 1978 and 1983 (they make no such admittance on Koreans from the South). Five were allowed to come home; the rest were declared dead. Every attempt by Japan to get evidence of their passing has been met with fiery rhetoric and/or forgery. This was maintained as long as the United States insisted the fate of Japan's abductees had to be resolved at the six-party talks centered on North Korea's nuclear ambitions.
Then came the Singapore Surrender, and everything changed.
Suddenly, Japan was on its own regarding its abductees. Isolated and politically weak at home, the Japanese government was in a serious pickle. The time was right for the North Korean regime to move, and it did. Now, in exchange for merely agreeing to "re-examine cases of a number of Japanese people seized" (BBC) - not an admission of wrongdoing, or even a hint that it may change its tune - the Stalinist regime has gotten Japan to drop a travel ban. In other words, Kim Jong-il once again get something for nothing (meanwhile, his regime is once more dragging its feet on the agreement to end its nuclear weapons program - One Free Korea).
Why do I focus on this particular matter? I do because the Stalinists' colonial masters (Communist China) have been playing the same game for decades, with the same success. Political leaders all over the western world talk about :engagement" with Communist China merely in reaction to flowery words out of Beijing, when the actual deeds (as David Kilgour points out - via Boycott 2008) are the archetype of what we once called a "rogue state." Already, the regime has managed to convince the new leadership in Taiwan to partially open up its economy to the mainland (BBC), without a single pledge from Beijing to even slowdown its massive missile buildup just across the straits from the island democracy.
The Communists have now become so brazen that they have even resorted to intimidating and attacking anti-Communists in democratic nations (Epoch Times), including the United States (Epoch Times). On one level, this reveals a boldness and arrogance that could lead the free world to snap out of its stupor and see Communist China for the enemy that it is. On a more important and deeper level, however, it also reveals weakness - for as I mentioned yesterday, the regime is clearly worried that dissidents and their supporters abroad could lead to more informed citizens at home. The Sichuan earthquake is already losing its propaganda appeal (Radio Free Asia via Epoch Times), and heaven knows what will happen when the Olympic Games are over and the reality of the regime's methods in preparation for it come to light (Boycott 2008 - WARNING: ECHO CHAMBER MOMENT).
Of course, the Chinese people already know - and know painfully well - how the Communists refuse to keep their word on anything that interferes with their survival and their ability to enrich themselves with the latest corrupt scheme. This is where the intimidation and silencing efforts have another bonus for the Communists - the very people who could best remind democratic leaders of the regime's dishonesty and danger are kept out of the conversation, thus making it harder for the truth to come out.
Even so, one would think that the leaders of the free world have witnessed enough broken promises from both the Beijing cadres and their Pyongyang viceroy to wise up. We can only hope that the reality hits home without a tragedy similar to Pearl Harbor or 9/11. We must never forget: America and her democratic allies will never be secure until China is free.