A genius suggestion
from JunkYardBlog, capturing the folly of talking one-on-one with those wacky NoKos:
If I ever found myself teaching a bunch of college freshmen about international politics, I would definitely include the following exercise.
I. Divide the class into two halves. One half is "diplomats" representing North Korea. One half will play diplomats representing the United States. For twenty minutes they will attempt to negotiate a solution to the problem of nuclear proliferation.
II. Tell each half that they will have fifteen minutes to prepare a "negotiation strategy" with diplomats from the other team. Each team will receive comprehensive "instructions" from its home government , which will inform its strategy in the upcoming bilateral negotiation. Explain that it is important to keep these instructions secret, so as not to tip off the other side as to how far you are willing to go.
III. The United States team gets the following instructions:
You must feel out the North Korean delegation to see whether any points of commonality may be reached. Underscore the DPRK's obligations as a signatory of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Please stress that pursuing nuclear weapons may de-stabilize the region and have unforseen consequences that could impact their country. Also make clear that the United States is willing to deal on certain measures--humanitarian aid, relaxation of U.N. sanctions, easing up on the Proliferation Security Initiative interceptions--in exchange for provable concessions on the North Korean nuclear program and missile research programs. Good luck. The free world is counting on you to stop or at least slow down the North Korean WMD program!
IV. The DPRK team receives the following instructions:
DO NOT SMILE OR LAUGH AS YOU READ THIS.
UNDER NO F*@#ING CIRCUMSTANCES WILL YOU AGREE TO ANY SORT OF CONCESSION IN OUR GLORIOUS NUCLEAR PROGRAM AND/OR MISSILE PROGRAMS. YOU ARE NOT AUTHORIZED TO OFFER THEM A G%^#*&NED THING. JUST SIT THERE AND SMILE AND NOD AND EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE, DO SOMETHING COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT OR BAT$*&T CRAZY--E.G., PASS GAS AND EXCLAIM THAT "MOUNT PAEKTU HAS JUST ERUPTED!!!", OR PRETEND THAT YOU BELIEVE THE AMERICANS HAVE AGREED TO PULL ALL THEIR TROOPS OUT OF SOUTH KOREA, AND GET REALLY ANGRY WHEN THEY DENY IT, OR STORM OUT SCREAMING ABOUT IMPERIALIST RUNNING-DOG CHIGGERS INFESTING YOUR UNDERPANTS. WHEN THE YANKEE IMPERIALISTS OFFER US SOMETHING, SAY NO, OR SAY NOTHING.
WE HAVE ALREADY WON A GREAT VICTORY OF LEGITIMACY JUST BY ENTERING INTO DIRECT NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE USA. YOUR JOB NOW IS TO STALL THEM WHILE WE PERFECT OUR FLAWED WEAPONS DESIGN. IF YOU DON'T SAY NO, NO, AND NO AGAIN, UPON YOUR RETURN TO GLORIOUS DPRK, YOU WILL BE BRUTALLY KILLED AND FED TO YOUR OWN FAMILY, ALL OF WHOM WILL IN TURN BE KILLED AND FED TO SOME OTHER STARVING FAMILY.
YOURS IN JUCHE,
DEAR LEADER KIM JONG-IL
IV. After fifteen minutes of preparation, sit the American and DPRK delegations down at a table and tell them that they have twenty minutes to negotiate a solution to the problem of North Korean proliferation. Let them go at it for twenty minutes and watch the fun.
V. When the time is up, initiate a discussion on the likelihood of reaching a diplomatic solution under these conditions. Ask the American team whether they thought more negotiations could have solved things. If they had utilized a different strategy, do they think it would have been more effective? Ask whether they thought the North Koreans were serious about reaching a compromise. Then have each side read its instructions, with the Americans going first.
VI. For the slow and/or terminally idealistic students who still believe diplomacy could have worked, offer them an extra credit assignment: have them go to the nearest GM dealership and enter a negotiation with the sales staff there. Explain that their objective is to walk out of the dealership with the keys and title to a 2007 model Corvette, and that they must do so in a lawful exchange for a purchase price of no more than one hundred dollars, total. Students who succeed in securing a new Corvette from a dealership in exchange for one hundred dollars will receive an A in the course and also a fast-track position within the United States Department of State.
VII. Debriefing and discussion: Why did these negotiations "fail"? Discuss whether every problem has a possible diplomatic solution. Assign this entry from Ace of Spades as a "reflection reading".
Labels: North Korea, politics