Monday, September 19, 2005

North Korea: Breakthrough?

The six-party talks on North Korea have ended in avoiding immediate impasse -- the North Koreans have agreed to do away with their nuclear weapon program, if the US gives aid to them, and also promises not to attack North Korea.

This will be trumpeted, no doubt, as a showpiece of diplomacy by the Bush administration. If you go back and look at the old newspapers, I think you'll find that this is exactly the demand NK has been making all these years, mainly that the US should promise never to attack NK. On top of that, the US has agreed to give NK food and energy aid as well.

It was Talleyrand who said, "The art of statesmanship is to foresee the inevitable and to expedite its occurrence". Long ago in grad school, my friend from India had a Thanksgiving card for our department: "Thank goodness Columbus didn't find India. Imagine stuffing an elephant!". Likewise, if this is the price of peace in North Korea, imagine having to feed and heat Iran...

Read North Korea's Gambit: Back to the Future? by Niranjan Ramakrishnan

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