April 14, 2009
Obama's engagement with North Korea fails
North Korean talks may collapse under Barack Obama according to the Washington Post. Here is today's WaPo coverage of North Korea's move to walk away from all disarmament talks, restart its plutonium plant, and abrogate previous agreements:
If it follows through on Tuesday's bluster, North Korea will walk away from six years of slow, fitful but sometimes productive negotiations that have led to substantial disablement of the North's main nuclear reactor and partial disclosure of the scale of its weapons program.The talks, in turn, have rewarded the government of Kim Jong Il with food, fuel and removal from a U.S. list of countries that sponsor terror. The Obama administration has repeatedly said that it wants to resume the talks, which stalled last year in a dispute about how to verify the North's past nuclear activity.That nuclear activity, judging from the North's statement on Tuesday, is soon to increase."We will actively consider building our own light-water nuclear reactor, will revive nuclear facilities and reprocess used nuclear fuel rods," the ministry said.
So according to the Post, the Bush presidency resulted in some degree of progress dealing with North Korea. But under the Obama presidency, we have the tearing up of the agreements made during the Bush presidency and North Korea's refusal to even participate in any further disarmament talks.
That would count as a diplomatic failure for President Obama, no?
How likely is it that other major media, particularly the New York Times that values engagement above all, will draw this conclusion? The New York Times featured non-stop blaming of George Bush for failing to diplomatically engage with North Korea.