President Bush announced today that he was lifting certain trade sanctions against North Korea in exchange for its delivery of a report on its nuclear weapons program. In addition, according to The Post and other reports, North Korea is expected demolish the cooling tower at its Yongbyon nuclear plant -- while being taped by U.S. television networks -- and take other concrete steps towards ending its nuclear weapons program and suspected efforts to sell those weapons abroad.
It's hard to find words to describe the significance of this diplomatic breakthrough -- and the irony that one of the Bush administration's greatest foreign policy successes would come via diplomacy, and not force. Since the Agreed Framework broke down in 2003, relations with North Korea have run hot and cold. For much of this time, the six-party talks appeared unlikely to produce any meaningful results, particularly as North Korea continued weapons testing, weapons exporting and other recalcitrant behavior.
What I'm hearing through the grapevine is that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan required so much attention from senior decision makers that it allowed career diplomats and junior political appointees to do their work in East Asia. In essence, the six-party talks needed less attention to work well, so that diplomats and national leaders could get down to business without all of the posturing that goes along with highly public diplomacy. This may or may not be true, but it's an interesting view of how diplomacy can work. I look forward to learning the full story.
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: Too little, too late. | June 26, 2008 11:45 AM
Posted by: ep | June 26, 2008 1:06 PM
Posted by: neutral | June 26, 2008 2:11 PM
Posted by: dc matthews | June 26, 2008 2:48 PM
Posted by: John Dillinger | June 26, 2008 2:55 PM
Posted by: groetzinger | June 26, 2008 3:47 PM
Posted by: Too little, too late | June 26, 2008 3:49 PM
Posted by: Rick | June 26, 2008 5:39 PM
Posted by: Ray | June 26, 2008 5:45 PM
Posted by: Anonymous | June 26, 2008 6:50 PM
Posted by: 1rap | June 26, 2008 7:26 PM
Posted by: Butch | June 26, 2008 7:50 PM
Posted by: BOB | June 26, 2008 8:18 PM
Posted by: BOB | June 26, 2008 8:33 PM
Posted by: Steve | June 26, 2008 8:39 PM
Posted by: Duffy91 | June 26, 2008 9:52 PM
The comments to this entry are closed.