COMMENTS: Axis of Evil Loses Second Leg

Normally, the diplomatic history made by North Korea would have grabbed headlines. Pyongyang's decision to come clean about its nuclear weapons took second place to the Supreme Court. The communist regime handed over details of its plutonium-enrichment program to its allies in Beijing and announced that it would demolish the cooling tower in Yongbyon to publicize its cessation. ABC managed to get correspondent Stephanie Sy (embargoed link) into North Korea. She promised she would be on hand to televise the demolition. "It is an act of more symbolic than practical value. They have already begun disabling the reactor."

In response President George Bush promised to end North Korea's status as a member of his Axis of Evil. With Saddam Hussein removed too, that leaves Iran standing as the axis' lone leg. NBC's Andrea Mitchell grandly speculated that the end of hostilities with North Korea could be "the final chapter of the Cold War." Mitchell quoted Bush's critics as charging that he "could have had this deal seven years ago." On CBS, Lara Logan, newly installed in the network's Washington DC bureau, was less convinced. Pyongyang has not come clean about its already-assembled arsenal of nuclear weapons, nor its suspected uranium enrichment program, nor its nuclear proliferation around the globe.


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