Yesterday ABC led with North Korean nuclear diplomacy, with Raddatz offering a fuller report than the other two networks. Now CBS and NBC caught up. NBC assigned the story to Mark Mullen in Beijing, where the six-nation talks were held. He contrasted the agreement--offering oil, electricity, aid, an end to economic sanctions and possible formal diplomatic relations with the US--with the President's Axis of Evil speech. The euphemism he used for the State Department's "entirely new approach" was a shift to "compassion instead of contempt."
Mused Mullen: "Did America give away the store?" From Tokyo, CBS' Barry Petersen seemed to answer in the affirmative. He listed the loopholes in the agreement: no halt to North Korea's uranium enrichment program; no search for hidden weapons sites; no dismantlement of already-produced nuclear weapons; no discovery of its current "stash of plutonium." The agreement called for no more than a shutdown and inspection of its operating plutonium reactor.
CBS' Jim Axelrod commented: "No one is popping any champagne corks" at the White House. ABC mentioned the terms of the deal only in passing.
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