According to an article in the December 31, 2002 edition of the Daily Telegraph,

South Korea sharply diverged from the Bush administration’s policy on North Korea yesterday, saying Washington’s policy of economic pressure and isolation would fail. President Kim Dae-jung, whose “sunshine policy” of engagement with Pyongyang has been derided by some White House officials, said direct engagement with the Stalinist state was the only way to relieve tension.

“We cannot go to war with North Korea and we can’t go back to the Cold War system and extreme confrontation,” he told his cabinet…. In a carefully phrased swipe at America, Mr Kim said: “Pressure and isolation have never been successful with Communist countries–Cuba is one example….”

White House officials have spoken of exerting such pressure on Pyongyang that Kim Jong-il’s regime would collapse, an intention that has alarmed China and South Korea, which fear a destabilisation of the region.

If any policy is demonstrably less successful than “pressure and isolation,” it is the “dialogue and engagement” that Kim Dae-jung proposes. But, as is now clear, bringing down North Korea is not his goal.

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