WWW The Thinkery
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
(10:29 AM) | Stephen:
This Is Progress - 13 Years Ago

On October 21, 1994, the United States and North Korea signed an agreement-the Agreed Framework-calling upon Pyongyang to freeze operation and construction of nuclear reactors suspected of being part of a covert nuclear weapons program in exchange for two proliferation-resistant nuclear power reactors. The agreement also called upon the United States to supply North Korea with fuel oil pending construction of the reactors.

North Korea agreed today to close its main nuclear reactor in exchange for a package of food, fuel and other aid from the United States, China, South Korea and Russia. The breakthrough, announced by the Chinese government after intense negotiations, came four months after North Korea tested a nuclear bomb.

The partner nations agreed to provide roughly $400 million in various kinds of aid in return for the North starting a permanent disabling of its nuclear facilities and allowing inspectors into the country.

Perhaps equally important, the United States and Japan agreed to discuss normalizing relations with Pyongyang. The United States will begin the process of removing North Korea from its designation as a terror-sponsoring state and also on ending U.S. trade and financial sanctions.

Just assume the standard commentary about George Bush being an idiot, not having any basis for suspending the 1994 agreement, causing the Kim Dae Jung government to fail, ensuring the North Korean nuclear tests, etc. Oh, and could you assume that my commentary was really witty? To be honest, there's just so many words in the English language, and with the Bush Administration breaking new ground in stupidity every day I'm finding it hard to keep everything fresh.


Update: To be clear, I see this development as a good thing, albeit one that shows how pitifully the Bush Admin has pursued its foreign policy goals.

The most important thing to understand about these talks and the agreement, however, is the role of the Chinese government. China - and to a lesser extent, Japan - brought everyone to the table, China led the talks and China produced the document to which the US has agreed - along with everyone else except for North Korea so far. I'm agnostic as to whether China's increased influence in Asia is a good or bad thing, but it's clear that it's rising power is at the expense of the USA's reputation and influence among Asian and Pacific governments.

While the Iraq War is necessarily dominating our national discourse and will be The Problem for the first few years of our next presidency, China's developing role in Asia especially and the rest of the world will have more lasting consequences for the USA and its place in the family of nations.

<< Home
About The Thinkery
Site feed

Recent Entries
We Mourn the Passing of the Anglican Church
Obama Notes
Bill Richardson in Sudan
Were You There II
January 21, 2009
The Hagelian Appeal
St. Charles of Shrewsbury
Apathy is the Greatest Evil
Liturgy Among the Cotton: Anamnesis and Negro Spi...
Dear John Edwards Campaign



Ezra Klein
Harp and Sword
Brilliant At Breakfast
In This Moment
Faith and Theology
Theology and Biblical Studies
Internet Monk
Boar's Head Tavern
Jesus Creed
Sacra Doctrina
Maggi Dawn
Shadows of Divine Things
Foolish Sage
Per Caritatem
James K.A. Smith
The Ethical Werewolf
A Pedestrian View
Brilliant At Breakfast

May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
March 2008
January 2075

Powered by Blogger

My Ecosystem Details>