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Congratulations to the Bush Administration

North Korea agreed to relinquish its nuclear programs. One has to be cautious with all North Korean announcements, but this deal seems to be more promising than any agreement reached in the past.

The Washington Post reports that Pyongyang has invited nuclear experts from the United States, China and Russia into North Korea to survey and recommend ways of disabling all of its atomic facilities by the end of the year. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill, who has led the negotiations for many years, called the overture "another significant step toward the de-nuclearization" of the Korean peninsula. He said it was the first time a team of international nuclear experts had been invited into the country and pointed out that there are many different ways to disable a nuclear facility so that it would be extremely difficult to bring it back on line: "You can drill a hole in the side of a reactor. You can fill it with cement," he said. "You can do various things, but it helps if you have a site survey and have a look at the reactor first."

The German press is not celebrating the agreement, but the US press is not doing that either, I believe. Good news don't sell very well. Besides, it's good to be skeptical about North Korean promises. It might be too early for celebrations. I just think that President Bush and his administration deserve some praise for their work on North Korea, which was (is) a danger for the entire world. International politics is about much more than just Iraq and Guantanamo.

Blake Hounshell includes North Korea in his FP Passport list of "the top ten things Bush and his team have gotten right."

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Don S on :

The global news media seems very queit on this issue, with the exception of the WaPo piece. And that piece chose to play up a misunderstanding between Bush and South Korean President Roh Moo Hyun. Roh apparently believes that the agreement ends the Korean War whereas Bush said "I said it's up to Kim Jong Il as to whether or not we're able to sign a peace treaty to end the Korean War." Bush's point appears to be that if NK carries out the agreement it will be as Roh says. Given Kim Il Sung's record with treaties I think that makes a certain amount of sense.

exDemo on :

When the MSM goes quiet, it is a sure indication that real progress is being made, by people to whom they don't want to give any credit. Nonetheless: "Trust but Verify. Mr. Schumer admits Bush Victory at hand in Iraq as Iraqis "Stand Up". North Korea: Another second reason for a George W Bush Peace Prize nomination...

pen Name on :

North Korea's program was always a bargaining chip for a getting a deal. I do not understand why you congradulate Bush in this regard. Mr. Clinton, who negogiated the Agreed Framework back in 1994, dragged his feet in implementing it since all the while he expected a North Korean collapse - something that any student of strategy would have told him not to expect - China would never have let that happen. Mr. Bush came along, threw out the Agreed Framework, and decided to seek a zero-cost foreign policy victory by threthening N. Korea. When N. KOreans did not surrender, so to speak, he had to go back to the essentially the Agreed Framwork except that now N. Korea is outside of NPT and has a few nuckear bombs/devices. "A few more such victories..."

Joerg - Atlantic Review on :

I am not sure I understand your argument. Let me try: Bush did what Clinton was too stupid to do, that's why Bush does not deserve the congratulations? "he expected a North Korean collapse - something that any student of strategy would have told him not to expect" I agree with you re the stability of North Korea and China's support, but I don't think every student of strategy is as smart as we are ;-) North Korea has been on the failed states index for a while, it is still on rank 13: [url]http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=3865&page=7[/url]

pen Name on :

My point was that he (Bush) could have gotten a better deal earlier if he had indeed stuck with the 1994 Agreed Framework. But he rejected that in favor of threatening N. Korea ("Axis of Evil" speech) causing N. Korea to leave NPT and build nuclear bombs.

RayD on :

Hey Joerg, I think your headline just scared away half of your readers - whether it is correct or not...

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