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Chapters 2 -- SO CLOSE...
Chapters 2 -- SO CLOSE...|
* According to Albright, "Kim said the solution rested with the normalizaton of relations." ...she gave the Dear Leader, a well-known basketball fan, a special gift -- a basketball signed by Michael Jordan. "Pick up the phone any time," she told him. Kim, leader of a country with few computers, Internet access limited to a tiny segment of the elite, and no cell phones, replied: "Please give me your e-mail address."
* Albright had come back from North Korea convinced that Kim Jong Il was "someone who is practical, decisive, and seemingly non-ideological." "We're under no illusion, " she said at a dinner of North Korea experts she hosted in Washington following her return. "We're not there yet. But this guy is not a nutcase. A presidential trip could seal a deal".
* "The president was powerfully tempted to go," National Security Adviser Sandy Berger acknowledged. "I think he felt that this could represent a significant development in the security of Asia and the world, and that he should not miss this opportunity."... in the same message advising Pyongyang the president could not make the trip, Clinton had invited Kim Jong Il to Washington.
* Bush asked, "Why should I care about North Korea?" Wolfowitz had been publicly skeptical of the Agreed Framework and Clinton's conciliatory policies. Condoleezza Rice too saw North Korea as a growing threat to American security and disparaged Clinton's effort to engage Pyongyang.
* Rice called North Korea a "rogue state" with "malign motives" living on "borrowed time" and sharply criticized the Clinton approach to Pyongyang. She described in 1994 Agreed Framework agreement as an attempt "to bribe North Korea into forsaking nuclear weapons.... One thing is clear: the United States must approach regimes like North Korea resolutely and decisively. The Clinton administration has failed here."