First U.S. contact with North Korea since dictator's death
The body of Kim Jong Il lies in state in the North Korean capital Pyongyang Tuesday. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
December 20th, 2011
05:19 PM ET

First U.S. contact with North Korea since dictator's death

By Jamie Crawford

The United States has been in touch with North Korean government officials since the death of Kim Jong-il was announced, but those discussions were more "technical" in nature, a State Department spokeswoman said Tuesday.

State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said the discussions were regarding the parameters for the resumption of U.S. food aid to North Korea.

"I can't speak to whether it was broader," Nuland said during a briefing with reporters. "But it was a technical level and it was designed to make clear that we still had questions with regard to the nutritional assistance issues."

In the absence of normalized diplomatic relations between the two countries, the U.S. communication with North Korean officials went through the normal channel of the North Korean mission to the United Nations, Nuland said.

The United States was in discussions with North Korean officials in Beijing last week to look at monitoring mechanisms required before America could extend food assistance to the North Korean people. The Obama administration was concerned that without proper monitoring, such assistance could be diverted to the military and away from people who need it in North Korea.

Robert King, the U.S. special envoy for North Korean human rights issues, and Jon Brause, deputy administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, met with North Korean officials last week in Beijing to discuss the issue of food aid. While the talks have been characterized as constructive by U.S. officials, there are still a number of issues that need to be resolved before a final decision is made officials say.

An official period of mourning in North Korea will run through next week, and U.S. officials say there is not likely to be much engagement with the North Korean government on food aid discussions, or any resumption of the six-party talks on the North's nuclear program, until that period ends.

In crafting a message to the North Korean people following Kim's death, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton consulted with the other members of the six-party talks before putting out a more "fulsome" statement that went beyond what she had said earlier in the day Monday following a meeting with the visiting Japanese foreign minister, Nuland said.

Clinton called for a better future for the North Korean people, and for the new leadership to honor the country's commitments, to improve its relations with neighbors, and to respect the rights of its people.

The statement, which was not released until after 10 p.m. in Washington, was delayed "because of the time difference, where we had partners who were asleep in the middle of the day, we weren't able to fully consult and coordinate," Nuland said.

The statement "was intended to be a signal of our expectations and hopes for the new regime," Nuland said when pressed on why a specific note of condolence was not included in the statement. "With regard to the C-word, I think we didn't consider it appropriate in this case."

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  41. fake War on Terror

    First U.S. contact with North Korea since dictator's death... Really? got tell it to the marines

    January 14, 2012 at 4:06 am | Reply
  42. desert voice (troubledgoodangel or Nathanael or Bohdan or Voiceinthedesert)

    The great successes are built on courage. If I were Mrs. Clinton, I would already be inviting the new North Korean leader to the White House. If such meeting became a reality, it would be comparable to Nixon's trip to China, which changed the world, making it more peaceful.

    January 8, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Reply
    • martin

      that would never happen

      January 17, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Reply
  43. desert voice (troubledgoodangel or Nathanael or Bohdan or Voiceinthedesert)

    I like Quecarademaricon! This is the nickname I gave the son of KIm Jong Il. No offense intended! I emphasize. This is a saying used in Argentina in a friendly manner, not despective. I like the young man for he can do great things, if only he finds the courage! He can show that the North Koreans are people too! He need not "ask for food." He can engage the world, and the world will help him without the need to ask! All he needs is courage. I like him because I believe that he has it ... regardless of the nickname.

    January 8, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Reply
  44. John

    Just wondering if any of you thought that the new leader might not be given a chance or choice, by the military, to help his people. Who are the ones in the country that gives out the food aid to their starving. The soldiers. A lot of that will never feed the bellies of the malnourished. It will find its way to the army generals.

    January 3, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Reply
  45. tosin

    I don't think you are a true USAF vet. If you insist you are then you need a few lessons in international relations and politics. Even if the US folds her arm and stands on the side line,they will still dump everything at her feet later on. So why not fend off evil days by being proactive. U don't need to annoy any body from certain part of the globe before they hate you. They dislike what the US stands for; freedom,liberty and right to exist and its defence of that (israel). You will be suprised they wouldn't mind blowing up the world just to destroy one individual or country,that is the way they are wired.

    December 22, 2011 at 1:10 am | Reply
    • tom

      "I don't think you are a true USAF vet."

      Who are you talking to? You didn't reply to anybody.

      December 22, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Reply
    • Borune

      You guys took a lot of real crappy decisions and shitty policies in the past and now just need to keep the lid on this monster. Occupational hazzard! Good Luck, if that is deserved. Just ask yourself one question... why do the countries you have engaged militarily, resent you so? such that... you can justify your hatred

      December 30, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Reply
  46. tosin

    Nice thinking, those obese children won't stand a chance.

    December 22, 2011 at 12:56 am | Reply
  47. roadwarrior

    hey rosie maybe you would like the terrorists to have nuclear wepons then u wont have have to worry about anything anymore no one should have them your the ding bat go plant a tree if u dont like living here move to nk

    December 21, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Reply
    • Stop Feeding The NK Army

      The point is that average Anericans need to write their congressman saying no more food aid for North Korea. CNN has an article saying they spent 65 million dollars buying weapons-including a laser that was used to "light up" a US helicopter in the DMZ. The North Korean government is evil on the scale of Hitler and Stalin. Food aid helps the regime stay afloat and its time for America to stop sending food aid to a country dedicated to killing Americans in the the next Korean War (I hope the regime collapses before that). Dont forget this is a country that has tested two atomic bombs. Where did North Korea's "food money" go-atomic weapons research and development, the military, and to the party elite.
      I am making a website on wordpress to educate Americans to stop sending our tax dollars to support the North Korean government and its military. In the short term cutting off food aid will cost North Korean lives-but in the long term it will save lives by creating conditons that will cause the average North Korean to rise up. This will save lives-including American lives that could be lost in a future war with NK.
      North Koreans have another viable option-Kim Jong Nam who lives in China.

      December 22, 2011 at 12:56 am | Reply
      • LOMONAID

        I AGREE

        December 25, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
      • Borune

        You moronic American... America pays NK in food aid as a pay off. it is necessary!!! With the agenda America has with keeping control and peace in NK, they need to use the food aid excuse to fill in the holes that's been created. Ask... O' dumb americans as to what the 'more "technical" in nature ' terms and agreements are that the State Department have on agenda... There can be no better, this is your monster, as with all the monsters the State Department and the Americans have created

        December 30, 2011 at 9:01 pm |
  48. roadwarrior

    maybe one day we will get someone in our goverment that will wake up and smell the coffee and realize the us cant solve all the problems of the world

    December 21, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Reply
  49. rosie

    I am sorry you are all insane, all of you. We as a country have no right to tell anyone else on the planet how to live. Just think if the Russians had tried to tell us not to kill all the natives that lived here on this land. How hypocritical are we as a nation to tell others not to use nuclear weapons when our country is the ONLY one that has ever used nuclear weapons to harm others. How hypocritical are we to tell any country that they cannot use their own natural resources (rain forest lumber for instance) to build their economy when our proud ancestors wiped out a gigantic forest of trees to do the same thing here (read about it – the destruction of the yellow pine forest that spread from the east coast to the Mississippi River). We have done terrible things to this planet and they are mostly unforgivable, yet we try to pretend that those mistakes were ok because we were building our country. We do not hold the moral high ground thht so many of you online dingbats think we do.

    December 21, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Reply
    • Jesse

      I bet you would not like it if a criminal who was bigger and stronger than you was torturing you and a group of people stood around and watched, refusing to help you because they felt it wasn't their place to judge the person hurting you and they have no right to stop them.

      December 21, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Reply
    • USAF Vet 2001

      I agree with you, Rosie. We have NO RIGHT to decide who should have a nuclear weapon or not. As far as I'm concerned (and I speak for lots of people my age), our government lost all credibility with starting war in Iraq in 2003. It also infuriates me that the very people beating the drums of war are the ones who are thousands of miles away from the conflict. Who knows? Maybe we got attacked on 09/11 because of some covert action was conducted that killed civilians in a foreign sovereign nation and it was an act of revenge on the part of the "terrorists"? Simply put, I don't trust the U.S. government anymore. Lie after lie after lie, we are pushed into a doctrine of fear to which have to go to war with every boogeyman the U.S. Governments' leadership perceives as a threat.

      December 21, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Reply
      • desert voice (troubledgoodangel or Nathanael or Bohdan or Voiceinthedesert)

        This really isn't about nuclear weapons. This is all about a unified Korea, with or without nuclear weapons. What is unacceptable is that only the North have nuclear weapons, for this is like holding the gun to the head of the South. I would rather have them united, nuclear weapons regardless. They can jointly scrap them, afterwards. let them follow the example of Germany. Unification will mean sovereignty, and a new-found dignity! I hope that my friend Quecarademaricon listens.

        January 8, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • Borune

      Amen rosie

      December 30, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Reply
    • GMAN

      Rosie, How can you compare the U.S. to N. Korea??? Such farce immediately negates any rational thought you might have.

      January 9, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Reply
  50. roadwarrior

    we need to stop sending aid to everyone no one sends any aid to the us we need to take care of our own and stop worrying about everone else take care of our own thats why china has grown so big and powerful if we had not been importing so much of there goods for so many years they wouldnt be where they are now i agree people are people but you dont help your enemies

    December 21, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Reply
    • Jesse

      How can you expect us to take any of your political ideas seriously when you can figure out the appropriate use of the word there? There is used for phrases such as "over there", "Lets go there" ect. Their would be used in phrases like "Their nuclear program was funded with money that could have probably purchased alot of food for the NK people."

      December 21, 2011 at 6:56 pm | Reply
      • GMAN

        Oh no the grammar police!!!! Your posts are always so entertaining.

        January 9, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
  51. Nguoinhaque

    Try to build a good or a new relationship? Expect someone to respect you? Don't call them a dictator or a bad name. Don't put words in people mouth. Don't label, don't speculate something that did not happen unless you want it happen.

    December 21, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Reply
    • Jesse

      Oh thats how it should be done? Wow if we only knew that we could have just been nice to Hitler and complimented his hair and little mustache he would most likely have not ordered all those attrocities. If only we had your simpleminded ideas the world would be so much better. We will just hug all the evil in the world until it just goes away.....

      December 21, 2011 at 6:52 pm | Reply
  52. Jim Righteous

    Start a new child foreign exchange program!!! : 1 obese American child switches with 1 malnourished North Korean child for 6 months – 1 year.

    December 21, 2011 at 5:12 pm | Reply
    • haha

      The obese American will die. (went to wrong post)

      December 21, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Reply
  53. Paul

    I thought PRNK society was partly based on "juche" or self-reliance? Why do we not hold them to their own standard? Why does our country and politicians insist on wasting money, time, and food on a nation of despots who have absolutely no intention of feeding their own desperate people despite their claim that all food is feeding hungry masses? Our country is in NO POSITION economically or socially to help despotic rulers promote their own foolishness.

    December 21, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Reply
    • haha

      The obese American will die.

      December 21, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Reply
    • John

      "Why does our country and politicians insist on wasting money, time, and food on a nation of despots who have absolutely no intention of feeding their own desperate people"

      I thought you were talking about your own government who failed big time to help their own people in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina or the fact that the budget your government spends on the military who interfere in every country in the world, could be used to help your own poor, disabled, elderly and sick by quite a significant amount.

      As for all you people posting on here, do any of you actually know anything about North Korea except from what your trusted !!! government and oh so believable press say.
      I don't. You don't, Unless you have lived there, not for a holiday, you can't judge.
      Our press said that the CIA knew about the plans for the terrorist attacks on 9/11 but let them go ahead because they needed an excuse to go in and get the oil. Also, it's a bit suspicious that the first business that benefited from the restructuring of Iraq were American.
      What gave your country the right to decide that American businesses should have the contracts to rebuild instead of Iraqi businesses.
      Snouts in the trough as usual.

      January 3, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Reply
  54. KWM

    I sure hope the people who are complaining about our current wars aren't the ones saying to let the North Korean's starve. For those that don't know, the aid we send has been a major factor in why the north stays up north. If we stop sending aid, that is a surefire way to start another war. Once people start going hungry, you'll have 5,000,000+ North Korean troops heading south looking for food. So think before you spew your arm chair diplomacy.

    December 21, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Reply
    • Guest in IL

      Spoken like someone who has done military service in Korea. I agree with you.

      December 21, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Reply
    • USAF Vet 2001

      I agree.. It shouldn't matter who is in charge of the government of North Korea. If we are belligerent in our tone when it comes to any nation's leadership, we leave the people under the respective regime at risk. However, if we help the people who really need it; Like food, water, education (without pro-Israeli or American undertones), the world will at least start to be a better place. The religiosity/hypocrisy of our government shows that we shouldn't be giving any country any advice or force them to do what we want when we have veterans starving on the streets in America.

      December 21, 2011 at 8:36 pm | Reply
      • Borune

        If you can make that the final chapter to America's foreign policy... that would be the miracle the world's been waiting for

        December 30, 2011 at 9:06 pm |
  55. Bobby

    Stop feeding the enemy ,we have people here at home who are starving – GEEZ !

    December 21, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Reply
    • abidingdude

      Show me one single instance of famine in the United States.

      December 21, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Reply
      • mike

        December 21, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
    • Brandon

      Hey Bobby,
      This is what the usa does. help other countries that is our enemy to get better relations. there should be no starving people in this country. we have plenty of food banks and there is no shortage of food.

      December 21, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Reply
  56. Kyle

    Stop sending food aid, either the NK government feeds its own citizenry, or it lets them die of starvation, which eventually means their own downfall.

    December 21, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Reply
  57. hello

    When will the dumb US administrations, presidents and secretaries of state stop funding the NK military by sending food
    which relieves them of their obligations and then buy jets from Russia and China?Stupid Stupid.

    December 21, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Reply
  58. Elliot

    I have a great idea. Why note work out a deal wth North Korea to SUSPEND hostilities, therebye allowing the US and ohter countries to bring in massive food for the starving people. Once that human problem is solved than the politiicians in both countries can, if they choose, resume being angry at each other.

    December 21, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Reply
    • rockystar

      because N. Korea willnot suspend their hostilities. They have brainwashed their entire population to hate the USA and to destroy us at all costs. There is not a way to get them to think otherwise.

      December 21, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Reply
    • hello

      Why? So they can continue their military buildup while other countries feed their miserable people? No let them starve.

      December 21, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Reply
  59. Adam

    The "c-word"? Yeah right! No condolences. If there is a hell, Kim Jung IL is there kicking back with all of the other magalomaniacs of human history.

    December 21, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Reply
  60. JIm

    Use of the C word!?! Holy-e-crap! That cracked me up bigtimewhen I read the sentence out of context!

    Proof-reader's where the C-word are you?

    December 21, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Reply
  61. Stop Feeding The NK Army

    The North Koreans can feed their people they just choose to put their military first. One year when America was sending millions of dollars of food aid the NK government bought hundreds of millions of dollars worth of high performance jets from Russia. America needs to stop sending any food aid because we are just helping the NK military. If NK Korea needs food we could set up a program to sell food to them. They have the money they just choose to spend it on nuclear weapons and their military.

    December 21, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Reply
    • Paul

      here is one suggestion you smart donkey ... go to NK, come back and tell me that they have the millions dollars to buy food ...
      by the way, food aid don't buy jets ... I have never heard of any aviation industry accepting payment in the form of perishable food items ... thanks God you are not in charge of anything

      December 21, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Reply
      • KME

        I'm pretty sure he's not implying the NK government is actually buying planes with food. I think he's pointing out that because we gave them food free of charge, the government could take the money it would otherwise have had to spend on producing that food and spent that money on the planes. Thank god neither of you are in charge of anything though because neither of your statements are really helpful.

        We have to provide the people of NK with some sort of food aid otherwise the mass starvation will continue. I agree that we shouldn't just send over millions of dollars in aid just to have that aid diverted to the military and not the starving masses. We just need to ensure guaranteed monitoring of the aid just like the US government is trying to get.

        December 21, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
      • Stop Feeding The NK Army

        They did not use food aid to buy the jets-they used hard currency. Google it. How can we give millions of dollars to a country that spends its hard currency reserves buying high performance russian jets?
        Your point is good about North Korea being poor. Its poor because it chooses to fund and the worlds 5th largest army and well as develop nuclear weapons.
        The best program is to sell food to the North Koreans.

        December 21, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
      • guest

        you guys make me laugh "high performance russian jets" ...

        December 21, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
      • Doug

        Did you say "High performance" and "Russian" in the same sentence? LOL!!!!!!!!!!

        December 21, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
      • Adam

        Paul, you're an idiot, obviously he's not saying they are paying for jets with food, but the money they are spending on jets could be used to buy
        I say, until the government starts to comply with the rest of the world's demands, no food for you!

        December 21, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • Sara

      That's precisely why the Obama administration is calling for more oversight before we resume food aid... it's unclear whether or not NK is willing to allow that oversight, but we still need to have the discussion. If there is any way to support the millions of people who have had to live under an oppressive regime for decades with basic necessities...we should.

      December 21, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Reply
      • Stop Feeding The NK Army

        You have a good heart-I really respect that. But would you have advocated sending food aid to Hitler's government before world war II if they had spent so much money on their military that they could not feed their people? Dont forget that like the Nazi regime North Korea has concentration camps that hold up to 50,000 people. Many people that are sent to these camps dont make it out alive. Food aid is what the regime needs to keep the machine running.

        December 21, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
      • Arty0848

        I say let'em starve, we have people right here in this country who are hungary due to no fault of their own

        December 21, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  62. jersey3038

    Our country is broke. As in we're barrowing money. So why in the heck are we still feeding the N. Koreans? This is how we became broke in the first place.

    December 21, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Reply
    • Sara

      We're broke because the Bush administration got us involved in two wars without ANY idea how to pay for them. Thinking that food aid for malnourished individuals throughout the world is responsible for our economy is ignorant and myopic. Caring for our brothers and sisters in humanity is a moral obligation- perhaps you'd do well to remember that this holiday season.

      December 21, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Reply
      • prediction

        Foreign policy is usually classified information. I would guess we are attempting to change their perception of us.

        December 21, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
      • Polopoint

        You tell it, Sara. Some dweebs just have no sense at all.

        December 21, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
      • Mike

        Darn, I keep forgetting that, as Sarah points out, it's ALL George Bush's fault – LOL

        December 21, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
      • FailedCongress

        If Bush had not invaded Iraq and kept his sights on the real target then we probably would have been done in Afgahnistan by now.

        December 21, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
      • Rich G

        Sarah, what you fail to realize is the entirety of the Defense budget (including the funds for both Wars and DARPA projects) during Bush's administration is less than the current deficit, which is less than half of what it is projected to be in 10 years. Feel free to blame Bush, it is all of our faults (not just the politicians but each and every one of the US' citizens as well.)

        December 21, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
      • Doug

        Rich, you fail to realize that the spending for the wars was taken above and beyond the defense budget. It isn't even factored into that number.

        December 21, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
      • Doug

        To add to that, Rich. I fail to realize that revenue was consistently reduced during the initiation and continuation of those wars. So it was a double hit.

        December 21, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • Stop Feeding The NK Army

      Its worse than that. We feed a country that is preparing for a war with America that then uses our food aid to feed the Military, party elites, and strengthen its hold on power. It also frees up money they should spend on food to be spent on weapons.
      STOP FEEDING THE NORTH KOREAN ARMY! The last UN food inspection was a scam-the NK government brought in starving people for the inspectors.

      December 21, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Reply
    • KME

      Actually, this is not how America became broke in the first place. Foreign aid contributes to a fraction of federal spending every year. Regardless, we were actually on tract to significantly reduce the national debt by the end of the Clinton administration. However, we entered into a 9 year war under the GW Bush administration and our national debt ballooned from 5.7 trillion to 10.6 trillion dollars. This is is partly due to the fact that for the first time in american history we reduced taxes during a time of war. You just can't do that. The government reduced taxes 10 times during the Bush administration for the wealthiest Americans. What did anyone expect?

      December 21, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Reply
  63. jorge washinsen

    If everyone believes there are kids that are as thin as those Korean kids here, get out and find them and help.Don't gripe do it.

    December 21, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Reply
  64. jorge washinsen

    If it had not been the war to spend all of this money on ,the liberals and their quest for election wins,would have spent it and put us in a hole anyhow.Look what would happen now to jobless claims if the military was disbanded and the whole force was thrust into the private sector. O bama would be looking for a job come next November.

    December 21, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Reply
    • mikeinthevine

      Oh, so now we fight wars to put people to work. Brilliant, just brilliant.

      December 21, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Reply
  65. jorge washinsen

    It is the voters of this country ,who by their stupidity, elect leaders, who are more stupid than they ,who get us in some wars we should have not been in.

    December 21, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Reply
    • Levi


      December 21, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Reply
      • Levi

        you clearly don't know what a dictator is >.>

        December 21, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • SmartAsss

      Politicians are smarter than voters, and that the way it has been and will be. Once it office, they would start to serve themselves, their political party and special interest group, the so-called "Golden Triangle." Voters are not means, not end.

      December 21, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Reply
      • John

        Here is an idea.
        What if we could have a system in place that would benefit the USA and would make politicians honest.
        To become a politician of whatever country, they must donate their own wealth to the state. They must not increase taxes to make a profit.
        If the country makes a profit at end of their term, they get a percentage of that.
        If the country makes a loss, then they get sacked and get nothing back.
        Businesses that make a profit, must donate about 20% of the profit to charity and i don't mean religious charities, 20% to shareholders, 20% to staff and rest to investment in company.
        It would make jobs more secure, help the impoverished and the needy giving them a chance to get from underfoot and give them a chance of a job which would then give more money to the state.
        Basically, as every businessman or women knows, you have to invest in your people to make money.
        Doing all the above would boost the economy. This should be done worldwide.
        But, of course, it won't happen as the politicians are too greedy.

        January 3, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
  66. IndeePendant

    China knows what exactly happens there and who is where in that country. If they decide to help the 24millionNorth Korean people to be liberated from the opporessive regime, then China will be able to precisely point where to surgically bomb and take out their key leaders and isolate the nuclear weapon quickly. More importnantly, China can just work with rest of the world to convince NK to open up their country a bit, at least for the sake of the people of NK.

    December 21, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Reply
  67. jorge washinsen

    People need to stop worrying about what goes on in China or North Korea.They have a plate full of problems simmering. We have broken our country to try to fix some of our mess..In the process we ran the manufacturers to China.Remember GE the next time you need a refridge or a light bulb filled with mercury vapor.Also remember you will be rrding around in aircrraft powered by jet engines made in China courtesy of the greedy manufacturers who pay no tax.Thank the Clinton administration for the space things he gave to China. JUst because we use to look up and think it is ours,no more.

    December 21, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Reply
  68. Jed

    I hope someone apologized to them on behalf of John McCain. Kim Jong Il didn't have many supporters in the US and not many people are mourning his loss, but McCain's outburst was grossly inappropriate. One can put out a carefully worded statement about wishing the best for the North Korean people and looking forward to peaceful friendly relations in the future, without expressing an opinion one way or the other about the "Dear Leader." The U.S. already has a whole pentagon full of people preparing for every possible war (I'll bet there's even someone making sure they're prepared for war with Canada). But it would be good if there were someone thinking about preparing for peace with some of these countries (where peace is achieved through means other than bombs and occupation troops).

    December 21, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Reply
    • Jesse

      YES!!!!! We should express condolences for an insane dictator. It is weak people like you who would rather talk about your feelings rather than do anything about it. The way these idiots run that country is morally wrong and someone needs to step in and do something. I am so sick of all this liberal pandering. You dont think that we should be the "police of the world" and you are so attached to the idea of peace (as if letting evil people do whatever they want will result in all the peoples of the world holding hands and singing 'its a small world') that you have failed to learn an important lesson. You can tell someone a thousand times that what they are doing is wrong, but they will continue to do it until you summon a modicum of courage and actually stop them. Our nation has the ability to stop injustices in the international world, it would be immoral for us to stand by and do nothing. It disgusts me that I read stories about the atrocities in Syria, knowing full well that we could crush their military in a matter of days, but our nation is so full of cowards that would prefer to hug evil until it learns to be nice.

      December 21, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Reply
      • Mike

        Well said, Jesse!

        December 21, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
      • Laxitive

        To smite or hug... always black and white these days. Since when is foreign policy that simple? Every evil thing that happens outside our country is not our problem. How is sending American's to die for a country like Syria courageous and moral? We need to be calculated and responsible for ANY involvement outside our borders whether by diplomacy or sword. It's this type of mentality in these posts that scares me how short sighted and reactionary alot of Americans are lately. Use your heads!

        December 21, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
      • Risky

        Actually we're not helping Syria because they told US to stay out of it. Syria not being our country, we have to respect their request. And acting as the "world police" is a bad idea, because parts of the world will work harder and gather to take US down. Showing how powerful we are just because we can, is the true definition of dictatorship. We cannot go around the world in the name of liberty and justice, because that would portray unpredictability and fear in the other countries. As wise Yoda once said, "fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to sufferingggg..."

        December 21, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
      • Captain Slappaho

        Wonder if their Dear Leader evacuated his colon upon expiring? Raff out Roud!!!

        December 21, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
      • rosie

        Crush Syria in a few days??? Is that you Dick Cheney?? Will they also throw rose petals at the feet of our troops who they would hail as liberators. Just stop posting if you cannot come up with something as basic as simple logic.

        December 21, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  69. jorge washinsen

    Most kids in this country are in more danger of dying of obesity than hunger.

    December 21, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Reply
    • Arty0848

      That's it, let's feed all the fat kids to the North Koreans, that'll eliminate that problem

      December 21, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Reply
  70. jorge washinsen

    I am not going to argue that there are children in this country that are starving probably.Cell phones ,cable tv,ipods,Ipads laptops and a supply of dope for the father and mother in some cases is the reason the children appear to be neglected. I feel sure any Ameircan, that knew kids were starving and all,of these expenses had been either sold or canceled for food would step forward and help.We are not that kind of people. I think most people who have worked all their life feel they have done plenty for those who have never,and there are several generations of them here.

    December 21, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Reply
  71. jorge washinsen

    We should have learned in Korea that any war that seems necessary that we take part in, it is necessary to have a clear winner.

    December 21, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Reply
  72. jorge washinsen

    If you remember right this war is not over ,never has been.

    December 21, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Reply
  73. Tsgt Smako

    All of you saber rattlers need to pay attention, if the Chinese decide we are punks they can kick our can across the parking lot without firing a shot. All they have to do is stop trading with us. We would have to built the plants that we would use to tool up with in order to bring anything back home. We have shipped so much of our dependence to the Chinese it would take decades for us to return to productivity. Look at the Made in China labels around your house and tell yourself you could do without. Now do it.

    December 21, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Reply
    • BC

      It would be the best thing that ever happened to our economy. And why would China be stupid enough do that? What hurts us hurts them just as much if not more.

      December 21, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Reply
      • ANGEL

        Exactly, CHINA needs us more than we need them.. If anything we can go back to doing things ourselves and make our own sh*t!!!

        December 21, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • Bates

      China: "Hey America, why you no have, well, anything? Oh that's right cause we make it all and we don't want to send it to you anymore, take that!"

      America: "Hey China, why you no have money? Oh that's right cause we buy everything from you and you stopped supplying us. Guess we will have to make it ourselves, create new jobs and save our money. Thanks China! You got us good!"

      December 21, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Reply
  74. Sal

    I've got your fadinsky right here buddy.........

    December 21, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Reply
    • Fadinsky

      we're talking about children too Sal ... not only dictators ... children who actually don't even speak Korean yet .... wake up!

      December 21, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Reply
  75. Fadinsky

    Sal ... you know, in French, if you add "e", it becomes Sale ... which means Dirty and this is what you are. you Starve a whole population to death, and you know nothing about their misery just because there's one bad person who actually is dead now. impressive and disgusting ...

    December 21, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Reply
    • jorge washinsen

      You have to remember, that million man army was all kids at one time, so was the nut who just died and th eone taking over.

      December 21, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Reply
      • Fadinsky

        True, but you never make everybody pay the price ... it becomes punishment. what we can do is try to help and change them form within... the fact that he died, will open doors for change (might be good or bad changes) so let's try to rise to the occasion and trigger good change. there will be suffering in the transition, no doubt .. but it's worth it. I come from a place where probably people who commented on this blog said "let them starve" but I was dying to get out, to live and to change my life and the life of people around me ... you know how I was able to do it Jorge? I was able to get out because the answers to the people calling for my starvation were not answered ... and here i am today ... contributing positively to the world ...

        December 21, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • jorge washinsen

      If you know anyone ,who is still living, that froze their,rear end off in the hills of North Korea,, be careful how you approach this subject.

      December 21, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Reply
  76. Sal

    Don't shed any tears for the dictator. N. Korea could still get us dragged into a war if they attack S. Korea and American soldiers would be put at risk in the south if a conflict breaks out! Yes the potential is there for them to do something against us!

    December 21, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Reply
    • Fadinsky

      it's your leaders putting the american soldiers in harms way ... so talk to them first.

      December 21, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Reply
  77. Larry

    Has anyone in government bothered to notice how many U.S. families are going hungry because of Congressional inaction in restoring jobs and/or even unemployment benefits at home? Feed America first, not our avowed enemies.

    December 21, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Reply
    • Fadinsky

      I agree with you Larry ... this is a good argument not like some "angry people" who commented on this topic. feed people at home first ... but don't call to starve others ... just focus on home.

      December 21, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Reply
  78. Perk

    PS Don't normally visit this blog very often but do you think we could get a pass to beam a horse onto the live coverage of Mr. Blitizer ? Mission: To support HR 2966 & S1176 No Horse Slaughtering in America. The horse wears a straw hat that says and we called Hillary Clinton to be there. The operator answered at the White House and said she'd pass the message to Obama.Technology wizards beam the horse in and no horse slaughtering in America for human consumption.By the way,McCain's upset and worried about our National Security and watch his interview with Blitizer as it relates to Iraq. God Bless our troops and Merry Christmas security at CNN.

    December 21, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Reply
    • Captain Slappaho

      You make no sense at all, please feel free to jump in a bathtub holding a toaster (plugged in).

      December 21, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Reply
  79. Sal

    No, a ruthless dictator died and it should be a cause for a celebration. Did you also feel bad about Bin Laden's children after we killed him?

    December 21, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Reply
    • guysmyley

      that is a lot of hate for a dude (and whole country) that's never done anything to you. osama bin laden attacked the US. NKorea has only attacked SKorea, and they are still kind of not really that into killing each other. why do we need to manufacture enemies for ourselves all the time? it's so pointless! hopefully ron paul will restore some sanity to our country

      December 21, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Reply
      • pfffft

        guy – you ignorent slut. do you remember a little conflict over there that killed thousands of americans. and the fact that the the north koreans have been helping terrorists and threatening us for years. wake up fool.

        December 21, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
      • guysmyley

        are you talking about the korean war? what was that about? do you even know why we went over there? you do know that we sailed our soldiers over to the korean penninsula... they did not sail their soldiers over to the US. the whole thing was a total waste of time. ask anyone who served in it.

        December 21, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
      • John

        The Korean war happened because it was a pissing contest between the USA and Russia.
        USA didn't like communism, North Korea persuaded Russia and China to back an attack on South Korea.
        South Korea fell for it and threatened to attack North Korea.
        Russia got involved.
        Because USA at that time were scared Russia would become the dominant power, they backed South Korea without actually attacking Russia directly. If they had attacked Russia directly it would be World War 3 very very quickly.
        So because of the testosterone fueled politicians and military in the 50's, approx 180000 USA and allied troops died with almost 600000 wounded and almost 29000 MIA while on the other side there were approx 1.5 million casualties.
        All those dead because idiots acted like playground bullies.

        January 3, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • gps137

      Jesus always said: "Spit on the children of your dead enemies, because forgiveness is a sin and my children should focus on spreading hate. Related note: when guns come around, everyone should carry the automatic ones without safeties."

      December 21, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Reply
  80. Sal

    Regardless, we would be feeding a potential future enemy!

    December 21, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Reply
  81. guysmyley

    man that is cold. a kid's father dies, and you can't even say "condolences"? real Christian stand-up behavior guys!

    December 21, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Reply
    • guysmyley

      i know it's hard for some of you pigs out there, but the rest of you, please try to be human... thx

      December 21, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Reply
      • alan seago

        Your comments, Mr. Myley, are harsh. It is perfectly reasonable to feel hostility toward Kim Jong Il, a dictator who starved and oppressed tens of millions of his own countrymen, and who threatens world peace with his plans to build long-range ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons. He never did anything to me, you say? You are mistaken, Mr. Myley. The Dear Leader ordered the sinking of a ROK Navy ship, with the loss of I think 56 sailors, and he ordered an artillery attack on an ROK island, killing two ROK Marines and two ROK civilians. He kept the two Koreas on the edge of more confrontations, and left the South with no choice but to spend huge amounts on military defense. These acts matter to me. I don't want to see the Korean peninsula dragged into another civil war, with Seoul burned and millions killed. I don't want to see Japan threatened, or the US and China brought into another confrontation, as in the first Korean War. No, Mr. Myley, North Korea's Great Leader did something to me, and I will cry no tears for his passing.

        December 21, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
      • guysmyley

        "these acts matter to you"? i'm stunned. i'm calling BS unless you are from ROK. get real. Fact: who wins in the NCAA tournament next year has a better chance of mattering to you than some country the size of Kentucky half a world away, even if you don't care about college basketball

        December 21, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
      • ntm91307

        Well said Alan. While I have no interest or desire to dance on this guys grave nor will I ever look his son in the eye and spit on him I don't feel the urge to lie to him either and tell him I'm sorry his father is gone. Let the kid earn his own brand of respect and friendship and let's see how it plays out.

        My 2 cents....

        December 22, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
  82. wwil125

    There's only one reason I don't agree with the "starve them out" commentors. It's because most of the food shipped for aid is from a farmer's excess. If they can't sell all of their product (grain, rice, etc) the US govt will buy it all and save it for uses like this. On one hand it helps the farmer, but on the other it cost tax dollars, but it does have some benefit.

    December 21, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Reply
  83. Sal

    Starve them out!

    December 21, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Reply
    • ryan

      i agree, starve them out..who cares about a enemy state that hates us....They are taught from birth to hate why give them food?....Way to go Obama you epic failure of a president

      December 21, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Reply
      • Daryx

        Ryan, so you are saying that it would also be ok for your own kids to be starved out of their country when Bush was your douchebag leader? Don't forget that not long ago the US was one of the most hated countries in the world due to their political, selfish, and capitolist agendas. That has lessened with Bush out of presidency, but none the less, when you kiss your kids goodnight they do not deserve to suffer and starve because of the dictatorship that leads you. The article clearly stated that measures are to be taken to monitor administration of this aid to ensure it meets the underpriveledged people. Those people are no different from you or me except that their country was run by a bigger douchebag than any of ours. All due respect, peace for all. And happy holidays, whatever you may believe.

        December 21, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
  84. Sal

    Let them all starve to death for all I care, and then maybe the slaves will revolt and at least try to overthrow that government!

    December 21, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Reply
  85. Perk

    I think Secretary Hillary Clinton's response was the right thing to do and say. Bill Richardson's approach is do not isolate and communicate. Mr. Blitizer says he never felt threatened when he was there and they were even nice but followed everywhere.We all share one moon for peace and let's keep it that way.I think his son is going to be more hip to innovation for the people, peace ,trade and opening communications . Peace on and No nukes !

    December 21, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Reply
  86. CS qui

    Oh my Deer Leader, you deserve a better glass enclosure than fish tanks in imperialist nations. Your unpolished edges glass box glued together using Elmer wood grade is not air tight... Oh, out of running mula! We understand.

    December 21, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Reply
  87. ART

    Please let me know where he will be burried I'd like to dance on his grave

    December 21, 2011 at 12:13 pm | Reply

    We could drop iphones on parachutes to the North Korean people. Then they could try to get directions with Siri and it would not let them because of their thick accents.

    December 21, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Reply
  89. tosin

    You don't need to be rude. I meant " have no oil to give to America".

    December 21, 2011 at 11:47 am | Reply
  90. tosin

    When the people are tired of the so called totalitarian government,they know what to do.

    December 21, 2011 at 11:45 am | Reply
  91. tosin

    North Korea has no oil.

    December 21, 2011 at 11:41 am | Reply
    • Huh?

      You have no brain.

      December 21, 2011 at 11:42 am | Reply
      • terry

        Such childish name calling

        December 21, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
  92. Katie

    Why are we offering to send food??? There are starving American families... Oh wait, our government doesn't care about us, I forgot. My bad.

    December 21, 2011 at 11:39 am | Reply
    • SayWhat?

      Yes there are starving Americans, but that is not the point. The starving Americans still eat better than half the world and they do not have Atomic Bombs!

      December 21, 2011 at 11:55 am | Reply
      • Larry

        So whoever threatens us gets the aid? Terminal stupid.

        December 21, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
    • JOH

      As much as I agree with your resentment with this... the type of "starvation" American families go through is FAR BETTER than North Koreans. North Korean orphans locked in concentration camps would probably murder their own siblings or parents to live like starving Americans.

      December 21, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Reply
    • Cedar Rapids

      Between 900,000 and 3.5 millions NKs died in the 90s due to starvation related causes. You do be sure to let us know when the US incidents reach that level wont you?

      December 21, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Reply
  93. More Handouts

    Does North Korea provide food assistance to the unemployed and homeless in the USlessA? Why doesn’t BHO & HRC take care of the hard-hit at home – and let North Korea take care of its people.

    December 21, 2011 at 11:32 am | Reply
    • Stu in Iowa

      Because it's what is keeping them from going all out developing nuclear weapons? Also, why is this an Obama or Cilnton thing? This has been going on for years regardless of party.

      December 21, 2011 at 11:53 am | Reply
  94. tusu

    Why does the US keep extending a helping hand to that recalcitrant state? In hopes of making it not a recalcitrant state.

    December 21, 2011 at 9:02 am | Reply
    • More Handouts

      Might be an OIL thing!

      December 21, 2011 at 11:33 am | Reply
    • us1776

      The US extends food aid to the North Korean people as a humanitarian gesture.

      Why should people suffer when it is the Stalinist totalitarian communist NK govt that is the problem?


      December 21, 2011 at 11:39 am | Reply
    • gps137

      Pretend your taxes don't help starving people across the globe, I'll pretend mine don't pay for unjustified foreign invasions. There: we're even.

      December 21, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Reply
  95. tosin

    I wonder why the US keeps extending a helping hand to that recalcitrant state? If the leadership of the country loves its citizenry,it will do what is right by creating an enabling environment. Not trying to get noticed by rattling its sabre or barring her fangs at neighbouring states. Food (aid) is required here in africa.

    December 21, 2011 at 12:40 am | Reply
    • JOH

      You speak of government and leadership as if they care for every single residents in North Korea. Guess what, they don't. North Korea still has one of the largest concentration camps still active with more and more people thrown in each day for crimes their family members (even once removed cousins) have committed. This isn't like any country you've ever seen, one reason being is because of the fact that the type of "rule" they practice is almost exactly like the ancient cultural Asian way where emperor was "God," therefore duty to God. People argue that the only reason why the dictators rule is because of fear... however, in this type of rule, fear/worship/love is very much the same thing when addressed towards their leader. Trust me, give them a chance, and they will run at you with live grenades if they need to.

      December 21, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Reply
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