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Can Bush Be Diplomatic With North Korea?

March 17, 2003

Joseph S. Nye, dean of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, has excellent advice on how the Bush administration can engage North Korea in talks while there's still time ("Hourglass Runs Low," Commentary, March 12). He warns that the president should not gamble that success against Iraq will strengthen his bargaining position with Pyongyang. "Bush should not take this risk. Instead, he should swallow his pride and start talks before it is too late," Nye says.

But hasn't President Bush's hubris been the problem all along? Does the president listen to any counsel other than his band of single-minded neoconservatives? We have seen treaties scrapped and diplomatic dialogue abandoned. The result is a troubled world on the brink of disaster. Will Bush ever swallow his pride and practice thoughtful diplomacy?

Joe Schneider

San Diego

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If the North Koreans really want to impress the world, why don't they melt down their guns and rockets and make farm equipment; then put that million-man army to work tending the fields to feed their starving populace? Why should we feed them while they waste their money maintaining a ridiculously large army and building weapons of mass destruction with which to kill us? How stupid can we get?

Robert Bartow

Calabasas

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The administration is right; North Korea is a regional problem. Its missiles will reach the West Coast and Hawaii. See? Nothing to worry about.

Lucille Sansom

Norwalk

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