Yeah, that’s right – our own Administration hoped that DPRK would test nuclear weapons for domestic political gain.

Before North Korea announced it had detonated a nuclear device, some senior officials even said they were quietly rooting for a test, believing that would finally clarify the debate within the administration.

Rice has even hinted that the test is a success of US foreign policy!

On her trip to Asia this week, Rice has come close to saying the test was a net plus for the United States. She has tried to deflect criticism by saying the test was an affirmation, rather than a failure, of the Bush administration’s policy of trying to draw China deeper into negotiations on North Korea.

Noting that North Korea has spent three decades developing a nuclear weapon, Rice said it was “very unusual and quite significant” that China, which has traditionally considered sanctions to be a violation of national sovereignty, supported a tough U.N. Security Council resolution punishing North Korea. The resolution is under Chapter 7 of the U.N. charter, which calls for mandatory sanctions for issues affecting international security.

“I don’t care how many times you visited Pyongyang,” Rice said, referring to a trip made by then-Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright to the North Korean capital in 2000. “China had to be part of this regime to deal with the North Korea nuclear problem, and you’re seeing it. Thirty years ago, you wouldn’t have been able to get a Security Council resolution on North Korea, and when you get one it’s Chapter 7, it’s 15-0 and China’s at the center of it. Not bad for a couple years’ work.”

Apparently the use of fear as a cudgel is the only tool this Administration understands, be it foreign or domestic. And the facts of the matter were that bilateral diplomacy made measurable progress in reducing the risk, and threatening regime change increased the risk – so much so that China had little choice but to act, fearing a Sea of Japan arms race. And while it’s good China is involved, the difference between 30 years ago and now is not the “skilled” diplomatic approach of Ms. Rice, it’s the growth of the global economy and modernization in China.

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