Cleaning up after the Democrats once again

No one should be very confident that the agreement reached earlier this week with North Korea will actually result in that country’s abandonment of nuclear weapons. On the other hand, the agreement isn’t a guaranteed failure like the “Agreed Framework” President Clinton reached with the North Koreans. The reason, as Charles Krauthammer has pointed out, is the involvement of China, the one nation that can probably coerce North Korea into complying with the agreement, if it chooses to do so.
The Bush administration deserves credit for getting a deal that at least has a chance of succeeding. It’s a better deal than Clinton got, and Clinton had more leverage than Bush since North Korea had not yet developed nukes at that time.
Bush also deserves credit for rejecting the approach advocated by that wannabe diplomat, John Kerry. During last year’s debates, Kerry argued that the U.S. should hold bilateral talks with North Korea. Bush insisted that China be involved at all times on the theory that, otherwise, the six-party talks would unwind. In short, Bush and his team recognized the centrality of China, while this fairly obvious reality seemed to elude the “sophisticated” Senator Kerry.

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