The lead sentence from the WaPo front-page story about North Korean slave labor camps is “Talking to them [the North Koreans] about the camps is something that has not been possible.”
The camps, estimated to hold 200,000, appear to rival anything that the Nazis and Soviet communists had. From the Post, this paragraph concerning the inmates stands out:
Eating a diet of mostly corn and salt, they lose their teeth, their gums turn black, their bones weaken and, as they age, they hunch over at the waist. Most work 12- to 15-hour days until they die of malnutrition-related illnesses, usually around the age of 50. Allowed just one set of clothes, they live and die in rags, without soap, socks, underclothes or sanitary napkins.
Lovely, man’s inhumanity to man. What to do about it? Talking to the Norks? That might be a start.
But, no, that’s not “possible.” The quotation is from one of our ever-so-brave State Department types. My dictionary’s first definition for “possible” is something that “can be; capable of existing.” What the diplomat meant was, “it would not be profitable to talk to the Norks about their slave labor camps; we’re not even going to try.”
I understand this; there’s no point in talking with monsters who would enslave hundreds of thousands of their people. And that is my point: there is nothing to be gained, ever, from talking to monsters. The current North Korean dictators are monsters and should not be talked to. They should be threatened with extinction unless they free their people and stop destabilizing the region.
However, given the “soft power” squishes now in charge of our government, I hold out zero hope for a strong stand against the Norks. And, in fairness, Obama’s two predecessors were just as feckless. Clinton made a fool’s deal in 1994 that was broken almost immediatetly by the Norks. Dubya had his hands full fighting Islamic terrorists and Iraqi dictators, but also had squishes as his secretaries of state.
In the meantime, the slaves in North Korea have no strong advocate. As the WaPo headline so accurately puts it, the outside world turns a blind eye to the camps.