The announcement that the U.S. and North Korea had agreed to "multilateral" talks with China in Beijing on April 23 was most welcome after six months of escalating tensions. The conventional wisdom is that the U.S. military success in Iraq was the primary factor in bringing Pyongyang to the bargaining table with Washington and Beijing after months of insisting that only "knee-to-knee" bilateral talks with the U.S. were acceptable. But this fails to tell the whole story.
PacNet #18 – U.S.-DPRK: Who Blinked, and Why?
April 21, 2003