For years now, foreign policy insiders have pointed to North Korea as the ultimate nightmare, the ongoing worst-case scenario for an international crisis: a closed, hostile and paranoid dictatorship with an aggressive nuclear weapons program. Very few people could envision a successful outcome. And yet North Korea agreed in principle this week to dismantle its nuclear weapons program, return to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, abide by the treaty’s safeguards and admit international inspectors.
Diplomacy, it seems, does work after all.
The agreement signed yesterday, if all the details can be satisfactorily filled in and then carried out, is a huge win for the United States as well as a fair deal for North Korea. Its achievement became possible when Washington abandoned the confrontational tactics and name-calling associated with its former top antiproliferation official, John Bolton
North Korea may be a starving, friendless, authoritarian nation of 23 million people, but its apparently successful explosion of a small nuclear device in the mountains above the town of Kilju on Monday represents a defiant bid for survival and respect.
Now the NYT is tut-tutting about the prime minister of Israel’s combative speech at the UN, which pointed out the previous foolishness of the NYT on North Korea. VDH has some thoughts on Iran. What do you suppose Ali Khamenei thinks about the NYT and the government-media-academy complex in the US?