1994 - Clinton Administration/Democrat-controlled CongressMaybe you're right, but, just for "shits and giggles," let's see a more inclusive timeline:
1. Gave North Korea exaggerated credibility by appeasing "unilateral talks" request.
2. Negotiated "Framework Agreement" to exchange nuclear reactors for promises from a communist dictator.
3. Later, North Korea reveals it has a secret and active nuclear weapons program and finally admits having nuclear weapons.
2005 - Bush Administration/Republican-controlled Congress
1. Refused to enter into unilateral talks with North Korea (a move criticized by Democrats).
2. Called North Korea part of Axis of Evil and demanded compliance therefrom.
3. North Korea pledged to drop its nuclear weapons development and rejoin international arms treaties in a unanimous agreement Monday at six- party arms talks.
The results are in. The evidence is clear. No need to speculate or spin, it's obvious which foreign policy works and which doesn't.
1993 - Talks begin with North KoreaSo, in the end, Bush didn't follow the Agreed Framework, letting the North Koreans off the hook for inspections and giving them months to work on a nuclear program. In the end, they're probably going to end up with more from us for doing less, all because Bush gave them the time and money(!) to futz around with a nuclear program and they taunted us with a (most-likely-fictional) nuclear weapon.
1994 - Signing of Agreed Framework, which allows for inspections of N.K. nuclear facilities
January 2002 - Bush calls N.K. member of "Axis of Evil"
April 2002 - Despite "Axis" status, Bush administration authorizes Framework payment of $95M to North Korea and "waived the Framework's requirement that North Korea allow inspectors to ensure it (had) not hidden away any weapons-grade plutonium from the original reactors."
October 2002 - North Korea admits to nuclear program.
2005 - N.K. claims to have nuclear weapons
September 2005 - North Korea "promised to drop all nuclear weapons and current nuclear programs and to get back to the (Nuclear) Nonproliferation Treaty as soon as possible and to accept inspections" which were already in place under the Agreed Framework until the Bush administration let the North Koreans off the hook in the first place. Of course, we have to give them a light water reactor first and Siegfried S. Hecker, who looked into North Korea's claims (on the ground), said that there was no proof they ever had any nuclear weapons
Way to go, Bushies!
Update: I'm not the only one who sees it this way. Andrew Sullivan:
From what I can glean from the MSM reports, it's essentially a re-run of 1994: they trade one kind of nuke reactor for another; we pretend not to notice their subterranean nuke development; there's plenty of space for this thing to fall apart; and Kim Jong Il gets more goodies from the West. Maybe China, Japan and Russia figure that NoKo is falling apart anyway and this kind of engagement makes sense. It might if we had some kind of Gorbachev figure in Pyongyang. But, ahem, we don't. I know we don't have many good options here, but it's hard to avoid the impression that the Bush administration blinked.Blinked? Hell, look at the timeline again, Andy! The Bush Administration poked its own eyes out Oedipus-style. Clinton, at the very least, demanded we get to look at their goodies.
Clinton was all about looking at the goodies.