Burmese tea leaves

February 1, 2012 6:00 AM

As might be expected, KCNA runs stories daily attacking the tightening sanctions against Iran. But Bob Carlin, winner of the Joe Robert Memorial 12-rounder, pointed out the other day that the news agency had chosen to run a piece on a statement by the foreign ministry of the Philippines urging an easing of sanctions against Burma in response to the political thaw there. Of course it is grasping at straws, but one wonders if the juxtaposition of stories highlighting sanctions on “bad” behavior and one highlighting the possible advantages to good behavior might give some indication of awareness on the part of the new leadership in Pyongyang of the diplomatic costs and benefits of alternative courses of action.

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