An interesting post from Donald Gregg, a CIA official since 1951, and a liaison to President Carter's National Security Council and National Security Advisor to Vice President George H.W. Bush, as well as U.S. ambassador to South Korea from 1989 to 1993. Mr Gregg is now chairman of the board of the Korea Society. In response to a Korea Liberator post on Washington Post's PostGlobal site, Mr Gregg writes:
My impression of the North Korea statement was how carefully it was was worded, and how free of bombast it was. It sounds as though North Korea is trying to establish its credentials as a responsible nuclear power.
It may hope that this statement will put pressure on the US to start talking with them bilaterally. This will not work with the Bush administration, and the gulf of suspicion and mutual hostility will only widen. I still believe that North Korea would rather talk seriously with the US than to conduct a nuclear test, but this latest move is another step away from dialogue toward greater estrangement.
Is there anything that could be done to stop a test from occuring? I think there is.
If the Bush administration would appoint a senior policy director for North Korean issues, as Congress wants it to, I believe that talks could be re-started. I fear that there is very little chance of this happening. I hope I am wrong, but I do not think I am.