Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Text of Bush's Comments on N. Korea Nuclear Test

Hopeful signs: he is emphasising multilateralism. Negotiations and the UN Security council are the first port of call:
Once again North Korea has defied the will of the international community, and the international community will respond.

This was confirmed this morning in conversations I had with leaders of China and South Korea, Russia and Japan. We reaffirmed our commitment to a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula. And all of us agreed that the proclaimed actions taken by North Korea are unacceptable and deserve an immediate response by the United Nations Security Council.

Worrying signs: neoconservative ideas that showed up in Iraq rhetoric also showed up when talkingabout North Korea. There's the "WMDs could be given to terrorists" meme:
The transfer of nuclear weapons or material by North Korea to states or nonstate entities would be considered a grave threat to the United States, and we would hold North Korea fully accountable the consequences of such action.

*sigh* Why does everything have to be about the US? Other countries are more directly in the line of fire right now. Shouldn't their interests be primary?

Disconcertingly, there was also the "ZOMG OPPRESSION" meme:
Today's claim by North Korea serves only to raise tensions, while depriving the North Korean people of the increased prosperity and better relations with the world offered by the implementation of the joint statement of the six-party talks.

The oppressed and impoverished people of North Korea deserve that brighter future.

I'm sure they do, but, uh, how? At least he's saying that it's diplomacy rather than regime change that would bring this increased prosperity and better relations about. Maybe I'm just jaded, but it was weird seeing the plight of the North Korean people brought up by El Presidente for what I think is the first time ever.

I get the impression that there was some give-and-take between neoconservatives and, um, not-neoconservative policymakers(what are they called?) in the drafting of that speech: emphasise the WMD-terrorist angle and the suffering of people under an Evil Dictator[tm], but also state a commitment to multilateral engagement and a willingness to use diplomacy rather than military action as a first resort.

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