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Monday, September 19, 2005

The Nature of the Game

Report today from The Associated Press:

North Korea pledged to drop its nuclear weapons development and rejoin international arms treaties in a unanimous agreement Monday at six- party arms talks. The agreement was the first-ever joint statement after more than two years of negotiations.

The North "promised to drop all nuclear weapons and current nuclear programs and to get back to the (Nuclear) Nonproliferation Treaty as soon as possible and to accept inspections" by the International Atomic Energy Agency, according to the agreement by the six countries at the talks.

Now, let’s backtrack a little bit. The Clinton administration’s bilateral talks with North Korea led to the “Agreed Framework of 1994," signed by the United States and North Korea on October 21 of that year. This agreement stated that North Korea would freeze its existing nuclear program. However, in 2002 the United States discovered that North Korea was pursuing a nuclear weapons program.

As a result, President Bush decided on a policy of multi-lateral talks with North Korea. In October of 2002, he met with Chinese president Jiang Zemin, and the two leaders agreed to work for a Korean Peninsula free of nuclear weapons. Bringing China, the one country with the most influence on North Korea, to the table was major strategic advance. South Korea, Japan, and Russia were also included in the talks.

Four rounds of six-party talks have been held prior to this latest round. All the while, North Korea has demanded bilateral talks with the United States. This demand has been consistently echoed by the American left. President Bush has been consistently criticized by Democrats and by the media as well for insisting on the multi-lateral talks. However, the President held his ground, and now it appears as if his insistence has paid off.

We should hear lawmakers on both sides of the aisle applauding this historic agreement. We should hear reporters from ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN joyfully reporting this breakthrough. We should read in the New York Times about the success of this President’s multi-lateral efforts.

We won’t.

Yes, the networks will report the agreement, but only as a minor story. The New York Times columnists will cast doubt on the validity of the agreement. And the Ted Kennedy’s, Nancy Pelosi’s, and John Kerry’s of the world will find much reason to criticize, and precious little reason to praise, what has been accomplished.

That’s simply the nature of the game the left plays today.

Undate: I watched NBC's evening news on Monday. They did not mention this agreement until 2/3 of the way through their broadcast.

Undate 2: Now the North Koreans are casting doubt on the agreement. We'll have to wait and see how this plays out. However it plays out, I stand by my assertion that the left will be critical.

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