N. Korea Vows to Quit Arms Program

"BEIJING, Sept. 19 -- China announced Monday that negotiators from six nations have reached agreement under which North Korea pledged to dismantle its nuclear arms program in return for recognition and aid from the United States and its Asian allies.

Although it included only general terms, the accord marked the first specific agreement since the six-party negotiations opened under Chinese sponsorship in August 2003. It was designed to serve as the basis for further talks on the timing of the taking down of North Korea's nuclear weapons program and the corresponding provision of economic aid and diplomatic relations and other inducements for the government of Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang.

lthough only preliminary, the agreement was a triumph for China, which has undertaken to host and referee the talks on a major Asian security problem. The mission has been a new exercise in leadership for China, emerging as a regional leader after years of standing on the sidelines and preaching non-interference in other countries' affairs."

Twenty some years ago I sat on the Korean DMZ facing the North. Our three battalions consisting of at most 600 men, vs. their sixteen armored mechanized divisions. I remember thinking, "armistice my arse!", NOBODY puts that much hardware up for "peace".

Make no mistake, China who is rising fast in the East and in new alliances with Russia, has taken little Kim to the woodshed.

Simply put, China cannot afford to have Kim go rogue. Which is why the Chinese Foreign Ministry is making this announcement in the first place. Outside of Chinese pressure, Kim would never relent to the West. He's a fanatic. Fanatics are never moved by diplomacy. Additionally with the North's closed and tightly guarded secretive society, checking up on them would prove an effort in futility UNLESS China "guarantees" their cooperation.

"Do not be decieved" is the old saying. China is exerting his prominance in the region. We need to pay attention.

Keep your eyes on the east. More of my take on China here.

UPDATE: Heh, heh, that didn't take long! Kim's first "balk"....now watch China bring the hammer.

UPDATE II: I've been getting emails asking if I credit the Bush administration in getting NK to "agree". While I understand the points some like Cpt. Ed are making, American simply doesn't have they weight over Kim that China has at this particular time - notwithstanding Bolton and Rice's 'hard line'. In fact, no one has held a hammer over NK more than China and Russia since the before the Korean War. Make no mistake, China is holding the cards here. Watch them in the coming months.

Besides, because of Kim's 'flakiness' which we are already seeing, I don't know if we really want to give the Administration any credit at all - especially since it could all go up in smoke at any time.

Tracked to AJ Strata; Tom Mcguire; Decision08

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