Bush Sends His Negotiator For Talks In North Korea

Bush Sends His Negotiator For Talks In North Korea
September 29th, 2008  
Team Infidel

Topic: Bush Sends His Negotiator For Talks In North Korea

Bush Sends His Negotiator For Talks In North Korea
New York Times
September 29, 2008
Pg. 6

By David E. Sanger
WASHINGTON — The Bush administration is dispatching its chief North Korea negotiator, Christopher Hill, to Pyongyang this week in a last-ditch effort to rescue what the White House had hoped would be a singular foreign policy achievement: an accord leading to the country’s nuclear disarmament.
The rapid decision to send Mr. Hill to the North Korean capital, days after North Korea broke the seals that United Nations inspectors placed on its equipment and said it was restarting a facility to manufacture bomb-grade plutonium, seemed to underscore the administration’s desperation to restore an accord that took most of President Bush’s second term to negotiate and implement. Mr. Hill, one administration official said, is “flying blind,” hoping to get a previous agreement back on track.
The fact that Mr. Hill is going to Pyongyang at all shows how much has changed in the administration. In his first term. Mr. Bush refused to talk to the country, and American strategy was to hasten North Korea’s economic collapse. But the country refused to buckle, and sped ahead with its nuclear enrichment facility. In more recent years, the administration argued for months about whether to allow Mr. Hill to participate in direct talks with the North Koreans, particularly in Pyongyang. His efforts to go there were repeatedly blocked by hard-liners who argued that to show up in North Korea would be to reward the government there.
But if there were any such arguments this time, they appear to have been brief. The United States must decide in the next month or two whether to continue sending oil shipments to North Korea; before it cuts them off, officials say, Mr. Hill wanted to make a direct appeal to the North Korean leadership. But it is not clear who is controlling the country, after reports President Kim Jong-il suffered a stroke.

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