March 1, 2012. Make yourself a note to check on March 1, 2013, developments in North Korea. Let's see which media outlet, The New York Times or Fox News is wiser, and which politicians more discerning.
The Obama administration and its media megaphone are optimistic about the latest U.S. agreement with North Korea. The lead paragraph of the lead story in today's New York Times reads:
"North Korea announced on Wednesday that it would suspend its nuclear weapons tests and uranium enrichment and allow international inspectors to monitor activities at its main nuclear complex. The surprise announcement raised the possibility of ending a diplomatic impasse that has allowed the country's nuclear program to continue for years without international oversight."
Happy talk continued in the next paragraph:
"The announcement seemed to signal that North Korea's new leader, Kim Jong-un, is at least willing to consider a return to negotiations and to engage with the United States, which pledged in exchange to ship tons of food aid to the isolated, impoverished nation."
A Times editorial was slightly less optimistic than its news story, but still positive:
"Washington's agreement to resume food aid is a reasonable price to pay, and one that will benefit many hungry North Koreans."
Fox News coverage was pessimistic, pointing out that North Korea had made such agreements many times and then broken them, and that food sent to the totalitarian regime had stuffed only the military and the Communist elite. GOP senators such as Jon Kyl of Arizona predicted that once the food is delivered, North Korean dictators will try once again to improve their ability to deliver destruction to those they consider enemies.
Who's right? I hope the Times is, but its batting average over the years is poor. Tune in a year from now.