NORTH KOREA UPDATE….Via OxBlog, I learn that the Bushies have apparently changed their tune about their refusal to negotiate with North Korea:

In a key policy shift, the United States said on Tuesday it was willing to talk to North Korea before Pyongyang ends its nuclear programs but stuck to its refusal to give the reclusive, Stalinist state incentives.

….”The United States is willing to talk to North Korea about how it will meet its obligations to the international community,” said a joint statement after talks in Washington among U.S., Japanese and South Korean officials.

Naturally I think this is good news, but why does OxBlog’s David Adesnik say this:

That’s good diplomacy. It shows flexibility by accepting North Korea’s demands for face to face talks but preserves the US demand that North Korea has to disarm before its substantive demands are met. Hopefully, the North will go along with this plan.

When he said this last Thursday:

Another significant difference between myself and the critics is that they stand united behind their insistence that Bush ought to negotiate with the North.

Explain yourself, David! Has five days made that much difference?

On a slightly different note, I don’t understand why giving North Korea diplomatic recognition counts as any sort of “concession” anyway. Hell, we ought to just do it unilaterally as a show of good faith and see how they react. I’ve always been a little perplexed by the peculiarly American notion that diplomatic recognition involves some kind of moral approval of a regime as opposed to a simple technical acknowledgment that a government has de facto control over their territory.

We should recognize North Korea not because of pressure they’re putting on us right now, but because we should have done it long ago. And as long as we’re at it, let’s recognize Cuba too. I’ve got some cigar smoking friends who might even vote for W in 2004 if he’d promise to ease up on the Cuban trade embargo and let in a few boatloads of Cohibas.

Nah, I’m lying. They still wouldn’t vote for him.

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