Hope Over Experience

Mitchell Reiss’ analysis of the six-party talks’ potential to bolster American and northeast Asian security are pertinent amidst
reports of some progress

Issue: May-June 2007

IS THE North Korea agreement reached on February 13 of this year a bad deal? Let us recall that the State Department called this deal "only a first step", and that sounds about right. Obviously, much depends on whether North Korea will honor its part of the agreement. We've been down this road before with the Agreed Framework. Samuel Johnson's remark about second marriages comes to mind. He called them "a triumph of hope over experience." So we can be hopeful, but we should also be extremely cautious based on our previous experience with North Korea. Sometimes second marriages work out; sometimes they don't.

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