How does Pyongyang claim to deserve respect when it won’t even begin to respect parties in the talks? If it wants to be taken seriously, then that means North Korea should begin taking seriously its own role and responsibility in these negotiations, not its shoot-ready-aim policies of the past.
Think of the precedent such behavior potentially establishes. If we succumb to the North’s demands, then what do we do with the Taliban? Iran? Let them attack anything and everyone because we don’t “respect” their right to negotiate better deals for their people, then we sheepishly come to the bargaining table? Such logic is rooted in naïve foreign relations.

The nation suffers from punishing sanctions. And yet seemingly before its final moment of collapse, the regime flails violently with military might, crying like a baby it’s being mistreated and misunderstood, only to signal a willingness to talk like adults?

The cycle of talks — followed by eerie silence, then naked acts of aggression, followed by the world’s psychoanalysis of Kim Jong-il, then pleas for more talks — must end.

Armstrong Williams is on Sirius/XM Power 169, 7-8 p.m. and 4-5 a.m., Monday through Friday. Become a fan on Facebook at, and follow him on Twitter at