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Pay Heed to Pyongyang

The US could have struck a deal with North Korea years ago - it would be foolish to wait with Iran

The Bush administration is to be commended for completing a deal with North Korea that persuaded the reclusive regime to disclose details of its nuclear power and nuclear weapons capabilities. But, had George Bush been willing to negotiate six years earlier, the US and its partners would have got a better deal and the world would be more secure.

In the summer of 2002, long before Pyongyang had the bargaining chip of having tested a nuclear device, the Bush administration had an opportunity to strike a deal. At that time the North Koreans took a series of steps that signalled a strong willingness to forgo their nuclear programme.

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