Negotiations have apparently resulted in an offer from North Korea to end its nuclear program in exchange for “something considerable.” How can we trust these people–and how can we verify anything in a country like that?! The Pentagon is apparently skeptical as well:

Mr. Rumsfeld acknowledged that for now “the president’s on a diplomatic path.” But the Department of Defense did not deny two news reports last week that must have sent shivers into Mr. Kim’s circle. [An] Australian newspaper cited Pentagon plans to bomb the nuclear site at Yongbyon if Mr. Kim reprocessed spent fuel rods to make bombs. One Pentagon official responded that there are many contingency plans. He told The New York Sun, “That’s what we do, we plan.”

Another report, in the New York Times, quoted a Defense Department memo which recommended that together with China, America should topple the regime in North Korea. The Pentagon official tried to play it down as just one more of Mr.Rumsfeld’s ideas. “His style is to throw things out and inspire debate,” the official said.

According to a Reuters report, administration hard liners were upset they were not informed back in March that North Korean diplomats told their American counterparts Korea had begun reprocessing the fuel rods. [New York Sun, 4/29/03]

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