Saturday, October 11, 2008

"The List" loses a name today

Today President Bush reached in his desk drawer and pulled out his whiteout pen. He looked around, took a sniff and proceeded to mark over North Korea's name on the list of states that sponsor terrorism. But the official story went something like this...

North Korea finally gets its wish today as the Bush administration announced they would be removing the rogue nation from its list of state-sponsors of terror. The decision came after North Korea assured they were abandoning their nuclear program (again). Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the delisting depends on agreeing to a plan to verify the North is following through with plans to dismantle. This will include allowing inspectors (paging Hans Blix!) into the country to monitor activities.

Critics, on the other hand, decry the delisting as a "reward for bad behavior" and that North Korea has no intentions on following through with promises. "Given the regime's decision to restart its plutonium reactor at Yongbyon and actions barring access to the site by inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency, it is clear that North Korea has no intention of meeting its commitment to end its nuclear program," said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. Nations still on the list include Iran, Cuba, Syria and Sudan.

So around we go again. The dance continues. What does this mean for US-North Korea relations? Probably not much in my opinion. Seems like it is just political posturing and diplomatic negotiations will continue behind the scenes. But, at least a step has been made. The ramifications of these action won't be known for a while, but at least on the surface it is a step in the right direction.

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