Thursday, June 23, 2005

Kevin Drum, blogging at The Washington Monthly, is my new favorite online source.
Donald Gregg and Don Oberdorfer write in the Washington Post that North Korea's Kim Jong Il might be more willing to make a nuclear deal than we think:

"During a visit we made to Pyongyang in November 2002...we were given a written personal message from Kim to Bush declaring: "If the United States recognizes our sovereignty and assures non-aggression, it is our view that we should be able to find a way to resolve the nuclear issue in compliance with the demands of a new century." Further, he declared, "If the United States makes a bold decision, we will respond accordingly."
We took the message to senior officials at the White House and State Department and urged the administration to follow up on Kim's initiative, which we have not made public until now. Then deep in secret planning and a campaign of public persuasion for the invasion of Iraq, the administration spurned engagement with North Korea. Kim moved within weeks to expel the inspectors from the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency, withdraw from the Non-Proliferation Treaty and reopen the plutonium-producing facilities that had been shut down since 1994 under an agreement negotiated with the Clinton administration."

All we have to do is sign a nonaggression pact? Hell, that's all North Korea has wanted ever since we stopped the "police action" there in 1953. There's still no treaty. Drum speculates about the consequences of signing such a pact and
sees no downside.

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