Tuesday, February 13, 2007

North Korea to nix nukes

Good international news? During the Bush administration? Wow.

And even though I fully expect any number of setbacks alongthe way I'm having trouble seeing todays news about today's nuclear disarmament agreement with Noth Korea as anything but a good thing.

BEIJING, Feb. 13 -- In a landmark international accord, North Korea promised Tuesday to close down and seal its main nuclear reactor within 60 days in return for 50,000 tons of fuel oil as a first step in abandoning all nuclear weapons and research programs.

North Korea also reaffirmed a commitment to disable the reactor in an undefined next phase of denuclearization and to discuss with the United States and other nations its plutonium fuel reserves and other nuclear programs that "would be abandoned" as part of the process. In return for taking those further steps, the accord said, North Korea would receive additional "economic, energy and humanitarian assistance up to the equivalent of 1 million tons of heavy fuel oil."

The pledges -- in an agreement reached here by North and South Korea, China, Russia, Japan and the United States -- marked North Korea's first concrete commitment to carry out an agreement in principle, dating from September 2005, to relinquish its entire nuclear program. In the view of U.S. and allied diplomats, they also amounted to a down-payment on establishment of a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula and a new set of relations among the countries of Northeast Asia.

And while a nuke-free Korea is a good thing in itself, what strikes me as more important is how this agreement was acheived: diplomacy.

North Korea is the only member of the "axis-of-evil" with whom the US has conducted actual negotiations.

North Korea is also the only member of the dread "axis" with whom war, or really any US military intervention was unlikely. In fact the US has actually REDUCED its troop strength along the de-militarized zone on the North/South Korean border.

And I suspect military action was never seriously contemplated, even by Darth Cheney. Not with our rich uncle China (the one who's loaned us all those billions of dollars) just across the border from Pyonyang.

And North Korea is the only one we've had any real success. Co-incidence?

I don't think so.

The real question is whether BushCorp™ is capable of learning from its only success in the last 6 years.

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