A compromised deal?Media reports from Washington say the United States is poised to remove North Korea from its list of state sponsors of terrorism.
The United States and North Korea have reportedly ironed out their differences about the verification of Pyongyang’s declaration of nuclear programs.
Though it is too early to form an opinion on what has allegedly taken place - details of the compromises have not yet been revealed - we think the United States, pressed for time, has made concessions to North Korea.
According to reports, the Yongbyon plutonium program was kept separate from other nuclear activities, the last stumbling block to the removal of Pyongyang from the list.
It means that inspections into undeclared facilities will be possible only when North Korea agrees to them.
The United States won’t be able to escape criticism that it stepped back from its original principle of a thorough verification.
Fortunately, the six-party talks, while maintaining the framework for denuclearizing North Korea, can move to the last phase of the deal. But we worry that the aftermath of the compromised verification process could ultimately derail the six-party talks.
Some critics say the Bush administration was duped by North Korea as the U.S. wanted to achieve a diplomatic breakthrough before George W. Bush left office.
What we know is that a complete investigation of the North’s nuclear capabilities is a prerequisite for denuclearization.