White House held secret talks with N. Korea before nuclear test

 Pyongyang, North Korea
Photo Credit Destination Uncovered

In the wake of an underground nuclear explosion that appears to have been planned for the day President Obama delivered his State of the Union address, North Korea has informed China that it is “prepared to stage one or even two more nuclear tests this year in an effort to force the U.S. into diplomatic talks,” Reuters reported Friday.

As it turns out, it may be more accurate to say “back” into diplomatic talks.

The most transparent administration ever — just ask its leaders — conducted secret discussions with North Korea following the death of Kim Jong Il, according to The Asahi Shimbun, one of Japan’s five national newspapers.

The report said U.S. military planes flew between a Guam air base and Pyongyang on April 7, 2012, again making a longer visit from Aug. 18 to 20.

Staying true to form, the Obama administration managed to strain relationships with another friend and ally by not keeping Japan abreast of the talks, even though “the visits had potential implications for Japan,” sources told the Shimbun.

“The Japanese government only learned about the flights after receiving reports from hobbyists monitoring activity at military bases and also analyzing air traffic flight plans,” the Shimbun report said.

The Obama administration “only informally confirmed one of them when the Japanese side pressed,” although the State Department “warned Japan’s Foreign Ministry against making further inquiries, saying they would harm bilateral relations,” the sources said.

Which side initiated the talks, what was discussed and whether any agreements were reached are legitimate questions the most transparent administration ever should have no trouble answering. Assuming someone in the media dares to ask.


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Tom Tillison


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