Monday, December 30, 2002

Powell: U.S. Open To Informal Talks With N. Korea (

Secretary of State Colin L. Powell today sought to defuse a nuclear confrontation in Asia, declaring that the United States is seeking communication with North Korea and that the administration is not contemplating military action in response to that country's move to restart its nuclear weapons program.

Powell, designated as the administration spokesman today while President Bush vacationed on his ranch near here, confirmed that he would dispatch to South Korea the top American diplomat for the region and said that the Bush administration is dropping a Clinton administration policy vowing an attack if Pyongyang resumed nuclear weapon production.

Appearing on all five major Sunday television news talk shows, Powell repeatedly sought to play down a sense of crisis on the Korean peninsula even as he asserted the government's view that North Korea already has two nuclear weapons.

The only reasonable member of this administration. I had a hard time convincing people that North Korea already had two nuclear weapons recently. Nice to be able to quote Powell now.

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