In diplomatic news, only NBC assigned a reporter to the six-nation talks in Beijing over North Korea's nuclear weapons program. Andrea Mitchell was not sent to China to cover the diplomacy: she reported on the "cautiously optimistic" US posture from the State Department. That optimism ran up against Mitchell's skepticism. The outlines of the deal Secretary Condoleezza Rice is offering to Pyongyang are too advantageous to North Korea: "Critics say the US could have had the same deal at less cost five years ago," if President George Bush had not nixed Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's offer under the Clinton Administration. At the time, the Bush Administration claimed that "North Korea was cheating. Critics say that was based on flawed intelligence."
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