- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 26, 2002

Excerpts of editorials from newspapers around the world:

Le Monde

North Korea's nuclear program

PARIS In Asia, Moscow, and Europe, American envoys will be looking for a consensus to block Pyongyang's uranium-enrichment program. In Washington, a certain embarrassment has become perceptible regarding [Pyongyangs] late revelations.

The U.S. considers that North Korea's uranium-enrichment program annuls the 1994 accord in which Pyongyang pledged to halt all nuclear-weapons development. …

However, the consequences of this annulment have not been made clear. The Americans have decided not to say if they will stop the 500,000 tons of crude oil delivered to the country annually … or end plans to help build two "non-proliferating" reactors. …

Without doubt, this attitude is part of Washington's decision to embrace diplomatic pressure and dialogue. …

Inspection programs and aid to North Korea involve the U.S., South Korea, Japan and Europe, and they cannot be brought back into question without dialogue. The American government's approach to the North Korean problem is very different from how it is handling Iraq. The explanation given is that the government in Pyongyang has been very weakened by its economic failures, and that it is susceptible to pressures ineffectual in Iraq. …

Although there's certainly a consensus among Washington's allies of the danger represented by North Korea's nuclear armament one that upsets the region's strategic order Seoul and Tokyo apparently want to move more cautiously than Washington would have hoped. …

Jerusalem Post

Washington's 'road map'

JERUSALEM When Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was in Washington, he no doubt promised, pre-Iraq, not to evict Yasser Arafat or replace the Palestinian Authority with the Israel Defense Forces. Fine. It is one thing, however, to postpone map-altering moves out of deference to the U.S.; it is quite another to go along with suicidal suggestions, such as IDF pullbacks in the middle of a terror campaign.

The other thing that happened in Washington was that Sharon was handed a six-page document with the chipper title A Performance-Based Road Map to a Permanent Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.

While the full text of the document is yet to be released, its reported contents indicate that this is one trial balloon that should be quickly deflated. Despite throwing in the words "performance-based" as a sop to Sharon, State's road map is chock full of deadlines, including ridiculously short deadlines for elections in the Palestinian Authority.

A performance-based approach means that our war on terrorism is dictated by the actual terror that we face, not wishful thinking about the PA or the expected American campaign in Iraq.

The Independent

Military action against Iraq

LONDON Inch by inch, or rather centimeter by centimeter, the members of the Security Council of the United Nations appear to be moving towards a compromise resolution on Iraq.

The United States, having talked as if nothing else than a threat of all-out war was acceptable if Saddam Hussein did not comply, has now moderated its stance to accept a resolution promising much vaguer threats of action.

… The French, with the Russians yesterday emerging from behind their skirts, want nothing that would allow military action against Iraq without further consultation. The Americans, with British backing, seek precisely this cover. But at this stage, one should be grateful that Washington has put aside its talk of regime change and unilateral action.

Whether for reasons of domestic public opinion or international objection, President Bush appears readier to adopt the diplomatic approach as favored by his State Department, rather than the "kick ass" policy promoted by his defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, and his vice president, Dick Cheney.

That can only be for the good. Whatever the rights and wrongs of action against Iraq, it makes no sense at all to strain the international alliance. The bombs in Bali and the sniper in Washington in his way have shown that the threat to America's, and the West's, security comes far more from individuals or clandestine groups than from state terrorism. The concern now is that the return of the inspectors to Iraq should be left in the hands of the United Nations, and that the U.N. should be firm in its pursuit of this course. …

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