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PacNet #39A – Six-Party Talks: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom

“The odds of any progress regarding the North Korean nuclear issue appear slim to nonexistent between now and the U.S. November presidential elections.” This is the conventional wisdom, as publicly proclaimed by ROK officials. I have also heard this view echoed in Washington and Beijing in recent weeks. North Korea is hoping for “regime change” in Washington, the reasoning goes, and the Bush administration is too divided and too preoccupied with Iraq for there to be any significant progress before November.