News: "North Korea may soon be on its way to being the second country [after Libya] taken off the State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism during the Bush administration's war on terrorism. Dell Dailey, the State Department's coordinator for counterterrorism, told a group of reporters yesterday that North Korea appears to meet the criteria for removal."
This surprise development -- despite the recent snag in the implementation of the six-nation agreement on nuclear disarmament -- indicates the Bush administration's renewed flexibility in its approach to North Korea. Bush's gesture towards the principle of "commitment for commitment, action for action" as stipulated in the six-nation agreement will likely result in a mutual progress in the six-nation process towards nuclear disarmament and security guarantees.
This reaffirms the use (or misuse?) of the terrorism list as a tool to exert political and diplomatic pressures on the cited nations. As a Congressional aide said succinctly, "We are using this [terrorism list] as leverage ... If push came to shove, it [North Korea] could be delisted tomorrow."
[Photo: Spectators watch a softball game in North Korea, taken by an American tourist, showing a glimpse of ordinary life in North Korea not shown in the mainstream US media.]