| About Face on North Korea

As the United States hosted North Korea for talks about normalizing a tempestuous relationship, questions swirled around Washington’s suddenly softer approach to Pyongyang. After years of refusing bilateral talks with the Hermit Kingdom—one of the three members of the “Axis of Evil”—the Bush administration switched tactics. Christopher Hill, the State Department’s senior diplomat for East Asian affairs, sat down in New York this week for direct negotiations with Kim Kye-Gwan to hammer out next steps on an agreement reached during February Six-Party Talks. Under the pact, North Korea will receive fuel oil, economic assistance, and humanitarian aid in return for shutting down and sealing its nuclear facilities within sixty days.

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