Bush Pulls About-Face on North Korea

Offers normal ties to former 'axis of evil' player for nuke secrets
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 7, 2007 4:31 AM CST
President Bush listens to a reporters question during his news conference, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2007, in the Brady Press Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – In a sharp reversal from the days when he labeled North Korea part of the "axis of evil," President Bush has sent a letter to Kim Jong Il saying that if the dictator reveals the details of his nuclear program by the end of the year, the US might normalize relations with his country. The letter is the president's first ever to Kim Jong Il.

The White House attempted to downplay the importance of the letter, which an official called a mere "reminder" that North Korea has already pledged to turn over the information by the end of the month. Still, the approach marks a dramatic change. The US attitude used to be that "you don't talk to evil, you end it," said one expert.