Ratcheting Down the Rhetoric

In his state of the union address last week, u.s. president George W. Bush restrained himself on the topic of North Korea, saying merely: "We are working closely with the governments in Asia to convince North Korea to abandon its nuclear ambitions." That was it. Nothing about an "axis of evil" or "outposts of oppression." Leaving aside the question of how closely Washington is working with China and other countries that are urging Kim Jong Il to surrender his nukes, the President's statement, however brief, signals a continued commitment to the six-party talks, which have been stalled since June. North Korea...

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