Have a Drink Kim

In what can only be considered a diplomatic coup, the Bush administration is announcing a major breakthrough in negotiations with North Korea. Headlined in both the New York Times and the Washington Post this looks like a real step forward. From the WP coverage,

Envoys from six nations reached a tentative agreement early Tuesday on the first steps toward North Korea’s nuclear disarmament, a potential breakthrough in talks that have faltered repeatedly since 2003.
The tentative agreement lays out the first concrete steps that would put into practice an accord reached in September 2005, in which the Pyongyang government pledged to dismantle its entire nuclear program. According to diplomats involved in five days of arduous talks here, the opening move would be for North Korea to close down its nuclear reactor at Yongbyon and readmit international nuclear inspectors in exchange for energy aid.

In that regard, Tuesday’s accord is expected to resemble an earlier bargain with North Korea, the Agreed Framework reached in 1994 during the Clinton administration but renounced eight years later during the Bush administration. Under that deal, North Korea pledged to freeze and eventually dismantle its reactor in return for 500,000 tons a year of heavy fuel oil.

Wait. It isn’t a breakthrough, more of a status quo ante? Like taking great steps backwards to President Surrender Monkey Bill Clinton? That’s what five years of Axis of Evil brought?

No you say? And what’s different Ms Smartypants?

North Korea was able to refine the material for several bombs from the reactor Clinton had managed to get padlocked? They have enough plutonium to make 8 to 10 bombs? And the US doesn’t have to build the light water reactors that Donald Rumsfeld’s former company was contracted to deliver but never actually built?

And Kim has been on cognac withdrawal for – like – months now?

Oh. Much Better.

But remember. The inks not dry on the treaty yet. I’m sure the Administration will find a way to accuse North Korea of invading Iraq or ties to al-Quaeda or the Contras or someone. (Maybe the canucks?)

So we almost have a deal. Maybe. If nothing goes wrong.

And Kim finally gets some cognac.

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