North Korea: So, we're not broken up?

Dear Leader,

Hi! It's been a couple weeks since I last wrote, and I hope you've been well in the meantime. Things in Boston have been busy!

So busy, in fact, that I didn't get a chance to write last week when I heard about the pending talks between the United States and North Korea.

You know, I actually got really excited when I heard. I said to myself, "I am going to write to Mr. Kim and tell him how excited I am."

But you know how it is. One things leads to another and the days melt away.

Alas, here we are on Monday morning, and the talks have officially resumed in Geneva between your country and mine. 

Everyone's saying this is a trial run to see if you're really serious about us.

If you're serious about keeping your word and moving toward denuclearization, then we may get to take a step forward (even in public) and tell the whole wide world what it is we've said to each other behind closed doors.

But that's only if you're serious. And I just don't know if you are.

Actually, that's why I'm writing.

Everyone's telling me I shouldn't ask because you'll freak out, but I'm sorry. I need to know.

What does it all mean? Do the talks mean things are back to the way they were? The way they were before you walked out of the six-party talks in 2009? Or is this just a big nothing to you?

I mean, jeez, Mr. Kim. After you walked out in April 2009, you had the gall to launch a nuclear test a month later. One month later! I couldn't believe it. Our friends hadn't even finished picking sides. I still had some of your stuff. Talk about salt in the wound.

And now you're back and it's like none of that ever happened. Like you just get to decide when and if conversations are going to happen. It's always on your terms, isn't it, Mr. Kim?

Well, excuse me for needing a little explanation.

I was talking to Bradley Martin, who knows a thing or two about North Korea and even wrote a book about your dynasty. He said I shouldn't get excited about the talks at all.

"There's nothing very encouraging here," he wrote to me. "North Korea apparently is in a talking phase. Those alternate with phases of open hostility, depending on what Kim Jong Il thinks he can get."

Well, now. I just hope that isn't true.

I'm trying to stay hopeful here. Trying to tell myself that people can change.


OK. I've got to do some other stuff now. Looking forward to hearing back, Mr. Kim.