North Korea has agreed to U.S. demands for nuclear inspection of its facilities, and in response, the Bush administration has agreed to take the country off its terrorism blacklist. The move was immediately criticized by conservatives, who were concerned about the effect it would have on Iran. “We are also sending a strong message to other rogue nations, such as Iran and Syria, that we will not hold them to their commitments, even as we give in to their demands,” said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL). Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has moved to the right of the Bush administration, yesterday blasting the anticipated announcement as, essentially, “appeasement.” As recently as July, the White House said that it still considered North Korea a member of the axis of evil.
Fox News’ Jennifer Griffin noted the pushback from conservatives to this deal resulted in a quiet announcement today:
It’s interesting who was absent from the presentation this morning. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was not there. Chris Hill, who negotiated the deal was not there. The President did not make this announcement. It was a quiet announcement called at the State Department today, on a Saturday. So that tells you a lot about how nervous the administration is about this deal.