North Korea's nuclear declaration is a diplomatic milestone for a Bush administration showing a more pragmatic side on a host of issues in the home stretch, writes Steven Lee Myers in the New York Times. The conciliatory approach has extended to other issues, including reducing emissions, Israel-Palestinian peace, and Iran's nuclear activities. "I think we learned a bit," says a White House adviser.
“The Bush administration, to put it mildly, is digging itself out of holes in a number of areas: North Korea, Iran, Iraq, the Middle East. We’ll be lucky to get back to par," said one foreign policy analyst. The North Korea deal in particular is drawing criticism from the right as weak and from the left as too little, too late. “Historians will long wonder,” said John Kerry, "why this administration did not directly engage North Korea before Pyongyang gathered enough material for several nuclear weapons."