Loory: It has been 5½ years since President George Bush coined the term “axis of evil” to denote the three countries that he said were responsible for exporting terrorism throughout the world: North Korea, Iran and Iraq. Since he spoke, North Korea may have become a nuclear power. It is widely identified as a Stalinist state and its leader, Kim Jong-Il, as one buoyed up by a cult of the personality. For some time, there was talk of military action against North Korea to destroy its capability to develop nuclear weapons. Then diplomacy took over and North Korea quietly lost its notoriety as a hub on the axis of evil. This weekend, American and North Korean negotiators will meet in Geneva to discuss American support for a denuclearized North Korea. Japanese and North Korean negotiators will meet in Mongolia to discuss how North Korea can deal with its kidnapping of several Japanese in the 1970s, and preparations will continue for a summit meeting between South Korean president Roh Moo-hyun and North Korea’s Kim in Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea. Diplomacy seems to be overriding belligerency in dealing with North Korea, and progress seems to be happening towards defusing tension on the Korean Peninsula. Is that really so? How did it happen, and what is the outlook for the future?
Diplomacy is emerging in North Korea situation
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