Monday, September 19, 2005

The devil's due

N.Korea accord reached, but so far just words

BEIJING (Reuters) - North Korea promised to give up its nuclear weapons program on Monday, defusing a high-stakes crisis, but skeptics said the deal hammered out in Beijing was long on words and short of action.

South Korea, the United States, Japan, Russia and China -- the other players in the six-party talks -- in exchange expressed a willingness to provide oil, energy aid and security guarantees.

Washington and Tokyo agreed to normalize ties with the impoverished and diplomatically isolated North, which pledged to rejoin the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

"The joint statement is the most important achievement in the two years since the start of six-party talks," Chinese chief negotiator Wu Dawei said. The seven-day session ended with a standing ovation by all delegates.

South Korea's unification minister, Chung Dong-young, went further, saying the agreement would serve as a first step toward dismantling the Cold War confrontation between the two Koreas.

I am as grudging in my acknowledgement of achievements by Team Bush as anyone. And everyone seems to be properly cautious in evaluating the latest news here. But even I have to admit that this development sounds like it is both important and genuine progress.


Post a Comment

<< Home

see web stats