The critics of the 2018 inter-Korean summit must answer that threshold question first.
The critics must explain why their preferred policy of “not talking to North Korea” failed to produce any result for the past decade.
The politicians in the international relations are often elevated beyond the banalities of governance, having transcended the pedestrian worries about keeping the road free of potholes.
What does the conservative era from 2008 to 2017 have to show for?
Why aren’t we talking more about the insane outrage that a fucking shaman daughter was editing the Dresden Speech, Park Geun-hye’s signature North Korea policy statement?
It’s not nothing, to be sure: the two Koreas agreed to cease all hostile acts, engage in a mutual reduction of forces along the demilitarized zone, and set up a “peace zone” in the Yellow Sea so that civilian fishing there could resume.
The two Koreas would establish a liaison office in Kaesong, North Korea, and link together rails and roads.
International relations is supposed to be a high-minded discipline.
It is politics at the highest level, as the world knows no higher power than a national sovereign.North Korea likely has the capability to deliver a nuclear weapon-mounted ICBM to the United States.It has also attacked and killed South Korean soldiers and civilians.Read Nicholas Eberstadt on the New York Times, Max Boot on the Washington Post, or Eli Lake on Bloomberg View—all of them decry the previous failed attempts at a dialogue in the early 2000s, but have zero reference to the events of the past ten years, although the immediate past more obviously informs where things stand today. Tens of thousands of North Koreans got a taste of capitalism by working in South Korea’s factories set up in Kaesong, North Korea.Despite its many significant faults, the Sunshine Policy era of 1998 to 2007 still had several positives. Tens of thousands of North Koreans successfully escaped their country and settled in South Korea in an orderly manner.In a decade since 2008, North Korea went from a rudimentary nuclear weapon that may or may not have worked to a credible showing of a nuclear weapon-mounted intercontinental ballistic missile that could reach the continental United States.