Nikki Haley’s mistake

On January 17 2018, The Montanian printed my open letter to Kim Jong Un titled “Korean armistice still in place.” Lincoln County library procured the sources for that column through inter-library loans, including Sydney D. Bailey’s, “The Korean Armistice” from the Command and Gen-eral Staff College in Leav-enworth stamped proper-ty of the the United States Army. Bailey, a British diplomat involved in the negotiations, concludes with a chapter on “Problem of Coalition De-mocracy.”

Recently U.S. Ambas-sador to the U.N., Nikki Haley has demanded that the North Koreans re-nounce their nuclear pro-gram as a “pre-condition” of starting talks.
To start the armistice talks in 1951 Soviet Am-bassador Yakov Malik proposed that discussions between the belligerent be limited to the cease-fire, without drawing in issues like withdrawal of foreign troops, Taiwan, or seating China at the U.N. Negotiations between the military commanders, the only authorities recog-nized by both sides. Bai-ley quotes Alexis Johnson as saying the military ne-gotiators were “unpracticed in the arcane arts of high-pressure di-plomacy.” Ridgway, Joy and their colleagues were excellent officers but had little experience in as-sessing the potential po-litical ramifications of every small suggestion and change of nuance. They were not practiced in foiling propaganda ploys or keeping cool dur-ing deliberately offensive harangues about them-selves and their country, a common communist tac-tic.

A diplomat is paid to know when to disregard his instructions, but the military decidedly frown on “freewheeling” of this sort.
In short, the incredible complexity of the armi-stice negotiations under the U.N. Command suc-ceeded only because they focused on the cease-fire and left other issues off the table. The cease-fire has held up for 64 years now so, I think it’s safe to start talks on common ground.
Ron Carter is from Libby, MT