Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Good news in North Korea

Despite predictions from hawks that it would never happen, North Korea shut down its only working nuclear reactor over the weekend, in exchange for 50,000 tons of fuel oil.

Next step: Getting them to reverse earlier statements and admit they have a uranium-enrichment program, in exchange for another million tons of oil. Talks to that end begin tomorrow.

I hope John Bolton is eating a large helping of crow. Caution and skepticism is always a good idea where North Korea is involved. But Bolton proceeded from the assumption that soft diplomacy would never work -- and, thus, it never did on his watch. In this instance, at least, it appears the Bush administration has learned from its mistakes. Let's hope it continues -- and North Korea continues to meet its obligations.

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow: what spin in an effort to keep from giving Bush any credit.

I hope the Dems are eating a large helping of crow----considering they said the 6-way talks would NEVER work and kept trying to pressure Pres. Bush into getting into Bi-Lateral talks with North Korea. Bush was absolutely right on that point. And it appears it has worked...when the bi-lateral talks, already tried in the past, had not.

Congratulations to the Bush administration for this HUGE success!! They'll still need to keep a close eye on them to make sure they don't renig again.....but looks real good so far.

JP5

7/18/2007 10:40 AM  
Blogger Sean Aqui said...

I gave Bush plenty of credit when North Korea first agreed to shut down the reactor.

Mostly it's credit for learning from his mistakes -- or, if you prefer, credit for deciding to finally ignore Bolton. The administration stopped the saber-rattling and actually tried talking, and progress was made -- helped along by NK's foolish decision to test a nuke.

It's also worth noting that this success was achieved by imitating Clinton: the new deal bears more than a passing resemblance to Clinton's Agreed Framework.

7/18/2007 2:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you talking about the bogus deal Clinton sent Carter to negotiate in 1994?

The main difference this time was that Bush did not allow N. Korea to back us into two-way talks. He insisted on the other 4 nations be involved so that it would not be just a deal between N. Korea and the U.S. and so that they could apply needed pressure.

IF Bush learned something....it was NOT to repeat the mistakes of Clinton.

JP5

7/18/2007 9:08 PM  
Blogger Sean Aqui said...

Are you talking about the bogus deal Clinton sent Carter to negotiate in 1994?

Spin aside, yes. It was far from bogus, as I delve into in some detail here.

It required verifiable actions by North Korea. It resulted in the scrapping of North Korea's plutonium program and the halting of construction on two large and proliferation-friendly reactors.

NK scrupulously adhered to the letter of the deal for eight years. Sure, at the same time they were secretly pursuing a uranium program. But that has nothing to do with the Agreed Framework, which dealt with NK's known nuclear program -- and which froze that program in its tracks for eight years.

7/19/2007 11:32 AM  

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