The undiplomatic Downer

Former Australian Foreign Minister wasn’t always the most diplomatic of people, in private. This is seen in one cable where he is discussing with the Americans:

Downer and Madden compared their personal experiences in Pyongyang, with Downer calling the DPRK capital “”pathetic”” with its darkened streets, cracked pavements and unmowed grass. LaPorte concurred that the DPRK infrastructure, including the power grid and rail lines, was decrepit. In closing, Downer remarked, “”let the whole place go to s–t, that’s the best thing that could happen.”” Speaking off the top of his head, he added that aid should not be given that would prop up the infrastructure. If U.S. officials wanted to hear the “”bleeding hearts”” view of “”peace and love”” with respect to North Korea, Downer joked, they only had to visit his colleagues in New Zealand.

Heh. This was in 2005.

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