Now that he's back from North Korea, Jimmy Carter says Kim Jong Il is showing "clear, strong signals" that he's ready to deal (again) on his nuclear arsenal. Kim delivered the same message to Beijing, writes Carter, which is why China is pushing for the resumption of six-party talks. (The North told Carter those talks are "sentenced to death but not yet executed," which is apparently as clear an endorsement as we're going to get).
"A settlement on the Korean Peninsula is crucial to peace and stability in Asia, and it is long overdue," writes Carter in the New York Times. "These positive messages from North Korea should be pursued aggressively and without delay, with each step in the process carefully and thoroughly confirmed." (For more on Carter's trip to free a detained American, click here.)