Saturday, July 14, 2007

Bush Diplomacy Carries the Day

[No. Korea decides that the deal's as good as they're going to get]
By BO-MI LIM, Associated Press Writer
14 Jul 07

U.N. inspectors arrived in North Korea on Saturday to monitor the communist country's long-anticipated promise to scale back its nuclear weapons program, while the top U.S. nuclear envoy said he expected Pyongyang's reactor to be shut down in a matter of days.

An initial shipment of oil aid arrived hours earlier Saturday, in return for Pyongyang's pledge to close down its main nuclear reactor. The move would be the North's first step in nearly five years toward the de-nuclearization of the peninsula.

The 10-member team from the International Atomic Energy Agency was heading directly to Yongbyon, about 60 miles northeast of the capital, to begin monitoring the shutdown. [...]
[IAEA team chief Adel Tolba] said the team would stay in North Korea as long as needed to complete its work.

After years of tortuous negotiations and delays — during which the North argued its nuclear program was needed for self-defense — the reclusive communist regime said earlier this month that once it received the oil shipment, it would consider halting its reactor.

North Korea did not give any timetable for starting the shutdown but top U.S. nuclear envoy Christopher Hill said it would happen over the next few days.
"I think it's a matter of today, tomorrow, maybe Monday," Hill told reporters in the Japanese resort town of Hakone south of Tokyo.

Hill also said he expected the North to submit a list of its nuclear facilities within months, as was agreed to in February's round of talks.
"We expect the comprehensive list in a matter of several weeks, possibly several months," Hill said. [...]

Saturday's delivery was part of 50,000 tons of heavy fuel oil the North has been promised in exchange for shutting down the Yongbyon reactor. Pyongyang eventually will receive 1 million tons of oil for dismantling its nuclear program.

After the IAEA team installs monitoring equipment, personnel will remain at Yongbyon to ensure the reactor remains shut down, said a diplomat familiar with North Korea's file at the IAEA.
"The IAEA plans to have a permanent presence there, with some experts remaining at the site continuously," said the diplomat, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

North Korea agreed earlier this year to shut down its reactor and take other steps toward disarmament in exchange for the oil and other financial and political concessions in a deal with the United States, China, Japan, South Korea and Russia...

Associated Press Writers Anita Chang in Beijing and Bo-Mi Lim in Seoul, South Korea contributed to this report.

Not that I think that No. Korea will honor this deal over the long term, any more than they did the '94 deal with the Clinton admin., but the Bush admin. has long argued that a multi-nation process, rather than the bilateral talks between the U.S. and NoKo only that Bush critics pushed, was the best way to go.

And now those critics have no leg to stand on, as it's quite difficult to argue with apparent success, without giving the impression that one is as nutty as is Harold Pinter.


Blogger erp said...

... which is why Bush will be long remembered as winning most of the battles and eventually the war as well.

July 14, 2007 10:13 AM  
Blogger Bret said...

I wonder if Bush is surprised at this bit of progress? It almost seemed to me that nobody really expected to get anywhere with this approach either.

July 15, 2007 1:15 AM  
Blogger Duck said...

I think China was the missing ingredient. The Chinese finally realized that they had more to lose vis a vis their increasingly integrated economy with South Korea and Japan than they have to gain politically by holding onto the NK bargaining chip.

I think that the lefites wanted the bi-lateral approach so that it would offer more opportunity for the US to humble itself by admitting its total responsibility for the Korean mess to begin with. Jimmah Carter was hoping to win a 2nd Nobel Peace prize by arranging for an apology by the US and reparations for the Korean people.

July 15, 2007 7:08 AM  
Blogger erp said...

Bush must be on the upswing because the number of crazies aka former friends and acquaintances, who are sending me hate-filled emails has been increasing these past few days.

Rather than even try to correct the mis-statements, I now just reply, "You're wrong ."

July 15, 2007 9:25 AM  
Blogger Oroborous said...

I don't think that Bush is on much of an upswing, but the Democrat-controlled Congress has managed the difficult trick of being far less-respected than is Bush, and so quickly, too.

According to, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Congress as a whole, both currently have HALF of the approval level among the American public that Bush does.

July 15, 2007 1:10 PM  
Blogger erp said...

Perhaps "upswing" may be too exuberant a word, but something seems to be happening to further madden those already deep in the throes of BDS and boy does that do a girl's heart good.

July 15, 2007 4:16 PM  

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