Perhaps, an historian in the coming years will be able to decipher the Bush policy toward North Korea and explain it in terms that make sense of what Bush has or has not been doing. Initially, the president indicated he would not pursue the Clinton initiative towards the North Korean government, but after a few years of deadlock and no progress, Bush switched and said he would negotiate with the Pyongyang government. However, despite agreement by North Korea to allow UN inspectors into investigate and their promise to dismantle nuclear weapon programs, Bush refused to take the name of North Korea off the terrorist regime list.
A few weeks ago, the North Koreans announced they would cease dismantling nuclear weapons and they wanted UN inspectors out of their country. Yesterday, President Bush told the world that North Korea was off the terrorist list. Within hours, the North Korean government said it would resume dismantling nuclear weapons and their foreign ministry made clear, “we welcome the US’s decision to honor its commitment to remove us from the list of state sponsors of terrorism.”
Naturally, this latest mess of confusion could have been avoided if Bush simply had agreed to do what he initially said–remove their names from the terrorist list for agreeing to dismantle nuclear weapons and allow inspection. Why does it always take Bush five mistakes before he does the logical thing?