Friday, May 30, 2008

Mid-Level Official Steered U.S. Shift On Korea
Washington Post, Monday, May 26, 2008, pp. 1 and A14

According to the article, Pyongyang "shut down its nuclear reactor, disabled key facilities and provided thousands of pages of records meant to verify the size of its stockpile of weapons-grade plutonium" because of Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill's "maverick" approach. Hill, according to the article, was instrumental in shifting the U.S. policy toward North Korea from confrontation to accommodation. According to the article, Hill was able to convince the Bush Administration to separate the two issues in negotiations. The issues are North Korea's uranium enrichment program and its holding of plutonium. According to Hill, the uranium enrichment issue was secondary in the sense that the original intelligence was not accurate in that it overstated the problem.

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