Headline I never thought I'd see-Good news from North Korea?


If this stays on course, and if North Korea lives up to it’s promises (both VERY big ‘ifs’), it would be one of the best bits of international news in a while…

Yes, the amazing power of diplomacy. Maybe Bush is finally learning that you can’t succeed with a purely antagonistic posture.

It’s pretty funny. Our position now is, “Okay, we’ll promise not to attack you (which is what you wanted all along) and we’ll discuss your civilian nuclear ambitions later on rather than just blowing them off.”

Anything the North Koreans didn’t get that they wanted? Not that this is a bad thing. I’m glad we’re finally making some progress here. I guess the neocons might finally be out of favor in D.C.? Took long enough.

Basically Bush’s weakened political position meant he caved on key items that allowed for some movement on this.

Powell tried to go for this early on, and got spanked for it.

Of course it made no buzz whatsoever when they finally announced a return to the 6-way multilateral talks. Didn’t Bush spend the whole election claiming a multilateral approach wouldn’t work? Now he can just claim credit and sweep that whole unilateral/multilateral nonsense under the rug…

Can you say “flip-flop”?

No, actually, Bush always supported multilateral talks, in the case of North Korea at least. The idea being that China and the other big kids in the neighborhood would make NK think twice about unnecessary brinksmanship. And, of course, we could use the stick (in theory) of China cutting off support rather than the carrots of what we ended up giving them.

So what you’ll have is Bush saying his multilateral approach was vindicated when the reality is we essentially gave up things he’d have had to negotiate on in a unilateral approach anyhow. It’s going to be a shower of BS when you hear them spin it, and they’ll spin it, but ultimately if it’s got everyone putting the saftey catches back on then it’s a good thing. I just think any other president would have had these results years ago.

Well, I admit being somewhat confused by all the rhetoric now and then. Common sense tells me that there is no reason to stubbornly stick to any position, and that a diplomat should be open to all options. At first I think, well Bush had to cave so now shit is really getting done. But then I think, was anything actually accomplished? Or is it just another opportune time for some positive press?

Nothing was accomplished, it’s just more posturing. Notice how NK and Iran announced the cessation of nuclear weapon ambitions within such a short period of time?

I remember this as well. During the debates, Kerry had the strong position that the way to get things done was through 6-party talks. Bush constantly refuted this, saying that approach would never work, and that unilateral was the only option.

It was brought up twice in two different debates.

You’ve got it precisely backwards.

US President George W Bush and presidential candidate John Kerry have clashed over how to handle the North Korean nuclear stand-off.

In a televised debate ahead of November elections, Mr Bush defended his six-nation talks approach while Mr Kerry backed bilateral talks with the North.

Both agreed the US’ greatest security threat was nuclear proliferation.

Analysts believe Pyongyang is waiting to see who is the next US president before it makes its next move.

“I want bilateral talks which put all of the issues, from the armistice of 1952, the economic issues, the human rights issues, the artillery disposal issues, the DMZ issues and the nuclear issues on the table,” said Mr Kerry.

Mr Bush responded: “I can’t tell you how big a mistake I think that is to have bilateral talks with North Korea. That’s precisely what Kim Jong-il wants.”

He argued that face to face talks between the US and North Korea would “unravel” the current framework, which brings pressure on Pyongyang from its traditional ally China, in addition to Japan, Russia, and South Korea, as well as the US.

“If Kim Jong-il decides not to honour an agreement, he’s not only doing an injustice to America, he would be doing injustice to China as well. And I think this will work,” said Mr Bush.

The current administration believes the bilateral approach taken by former President Bill Clinton gave too much to Pyongyang in exchange for too little.

But Mr Kerry argued that Mr Bush’s approach was not working, and had given Pyongyang the time to build up its nuclear arsenal.

Of course I was using the word unilateral incorrectly when I should have said bilateral. Unilateral talks? That’d be the U.S. talking to itself? Seems to happen more often than not but it’s not what I meant.

This thread is funny.

Ah ok… Since the debates, I always thought Bush was the guy who wanted bi-lateral.

I guess it’s that Bush has historically shunned every other country’s opinion except the US’s. Seems odd he would want to invlove other nations in his diplomacy with NK.

Take a picture: Bush finally got around to making the right decision.

It is ironic that the “unilaterialist” foreign policy, spelled out pretty clearly as The Bush Doctrine, ran so swiftly to multilateralism in the case of a North Korea. But it’s never really been seen as a primary threat to us in neocon thinking. China, our unlikely “pals” in the multilateral talk scenario, and various nations in the Middle East primarily occupy those roles. So it was tossed aside and neglected but for the rattling of sabres and jutting of chins which thrills the cromagnons of the Republican base to no end. And during the floorshow NK did make, what, eight to ten new nuclear warheads? Now we’re back to where we started and making the concessions that were necessary in the first place, four years ago, to make any progress but NK’s got a much stronger position owning as many nukes as it does.

I hope nobody doubts just talking to them in the first place and cutting some deals would have avoided the situation we’re now in. Bilateral talks couldn’t have ended up with us giving away much more than we did now - aside from tarnishing Bush’s pride. I’d trade that for making NK’s nukes go away any day.

North Korea said Tuesday it would not dismantle its nuclear weapons program until the United States first provides an atomic energy reactor, casting doubt on its commitment to a breakthrough agreement reached at international arms talks.


Thank God we can all rest easy now, hey? Oops, my mistake, this thread is about Bush, and how big a dummy he is, not about the danger NK presents, right?

Close. It’s about the danger Bush presents.

North Korea said Tuesday it would not dismantle its nuclear weapons program until the United States first provides an atomic energy reactor, casting doubt on its commitment to a breakthrough agreement reached at international arms talks.

Whether North Korea is committed or not (I have no ideer), we’ve requested that they shut down their nuclear power plant at Pyongyang, they’ve agreed provided we’ll replace it with a light-water reactor. To the extent of my understanding, a light-water reactor is very good at power production but very bad as a source for weapon grade nuclear material.

Which is, um, actually completely reasonable.

Whatever, we already said NO to that. So now everything is back to they want to aim missles at everyone, nothing accomplished (is there a banner for that?)

Reasonable, except it establishes a WICKED precedent of using nuclear power as a bargaining chip with superpowers, and winning. I suppose that smarty-pants think-tanks will know a way that this isn’t the case, but it’s going to look that way to tinpot dictators with a few million and a black market connection.