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There was a laughing out loud moment in the interview with Christopher Hill on NPR on April 12.

After delivering the talking point that the North Korean issue had “been resolved”, Hill made the interesting statement, “We’ve had serious discussions with the North Koreans about the need to make sure this money does not go back to nefarious people for nefarious purposes”, implying that yes, there are some restrictions placed on the free movement of these funds by the U.S. that justify the use of ironic airquotes around the word “resolved”.

Either because of editing or a certain lack of anchorly focus, the interview abandons this issue for a piece of pseudo-serious bombast by NPR’s Steve Inskeep:

“Do you think you have found North Koreans you can look in the eye and trust?”

Even the least inquiring mind should be capable of realizing that a) the US is in breach of the agreement, having been unable to secure the return of the Macau money in 55 days, let alone the one month we promised b) despite our ludicrous shortcomings in money management we were demanding that North Korea shut down a nuclear reactor in 2 days instead of a month and c) the State Department is desperately spinning this matter so that North Korea and not the US will be blamed if the wheels come off the Six Party Agreement.

Add to that the disturbing impression that the Treasury Department apparently has no qualms about sabotaging an diplomatic agreement between six governments, we might ask, are there any U.S. diplomats that North Korea can look in the eye and trust to deliver on the obligations they have assumed?

So I wouldn’t be surprised if Chris Hill chuckled to himself after the interview—and sighed with relief at the credulousness of the US media.

“Do you think you have found North Koreans you can look in the eye and trust?”

Yes, I think that line will occupy a place of honor in my Hall of Fame of Risible Statements—and Chris Hill’s.

(Republished from China Matters by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy 
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