A year ago, there was some activity about convincing Condaleeza Rice to run for President or VP. You don’t hear much of that lately and this may be why. There has been considerable disappointment in the Bush foreign policy since 2004, with the exception of Iraq. We had hoped for support of Iranian dissident groups and pressure on North Korea, although the only country that matters to NK is China. Nothing has happened.
Stephen Hayes has a lengthy essay on the subject.
Christopher Hill, the assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs and the government’s chief negotiator on North Korea’s nuclear program, met privately in Beijing with Kim Gye Gwan, North Korea’s deputy foreign minister. The meeting itself was a major concession. Although Hill’s boss, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, had given him wide latitude for his negotiations she had not authorized a one-on-one meeting. The North Koreans had been pushing for bilateral negotiations with the United States since the beginning of the Bush administration. The president had repeatedly and categorically rejected any direct talks with the North Koreans.
This followed the 2006 test of a nuclear weapon by NK. Christopher Hill has been the subject of a fawning profile this week in the Washington Post.
“If you just let me go to Pyongyang, I’ll get you a deal,” the career Foreign Service officer said, prompting others to roll their eyes and move on.
In the twilight of the Bush presidency, the nuclear agreement that Hill has tirelessly pursued over the past three years has emerged as Bush’s best hope for a lasting foreign policy success. In the process, Hill has become the public face of an extraordinary 180-degree policy shift on North Korea, from confrontation to accommodation.
If the Washington Post says this, you know Hill is in the wrong administration. Maybe he should be advising Obama.