A new blogger has taken Charles Noble and me to task for thinking that dialog is good. I'm singled out for the hypocrisy of protesting the Bush administration's tyranny while saying that it is okay for the NYPhil to go to North Korea. I can see why "Fitzroy" could come to this conclusion, though I see no contradiction. I continue to talk to Bush supporters and continue to disapprove of the North Korean government. It comes down to accepting current conditions and believing that communication will make things better. I accept that George Bush is president of the United States, so any efforts to change policy will be through communication with him and/or his followers. I also accept that Kim Jong-il is leader of North Korea, and that any efforts to change policy there will be through communication with him and/or his followers. You may say fairly that said change is a pipe dream, but I firmly believe that it is even more of a pipe dream to think that the North Korean problem will go away if we stop communicating with them. The aforesaid Bush administration found that out the hard way, when their non-communication policy led to the restart of the North Korean nuclear program.
Matthew Guerreri has a more nuanced take, complete with Gershwin analysis and Korean history.
Update: Steve Smith is going to blog the North Korean tour.