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An excerpt from an interview with Charles W. Freeman, a long-time State Department China hand who was deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing during the Reagan years, centers on Freeman's recollections about a still-born step toward opening direct talks with North Korea that might have emerged from a surprising Chinese offer during the first Reagan administration to broker such discussions. This initiative was effectively killed, according to Freeman, by the determined opposition of Paul Wolfowitz, who was then Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs. Freeman speculates that Wolfowitz's hostility to the initiative was rooted in part in the latter's ideological suspicion of any Chinese initiative and his concerns over adverse reactions from the Republican right-wing to such talks (see pp. 430-431 of the excerpt). Wolfowitz's reputed role as the intellectual driving-force behind the hard-line positions taken by the Defense Department on Iraq, North Korea and other members of the "Axis of Evil" suggests that long-standing debates continue to be waged in the current administration.
Text Posted by: Valhall
On: Fri September, 17 2004 @ 04:42 GMT
1. Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, sat on the board of ABB Combustion Engineering from 1990 through 2000. During seven of these ten years, ABB aggressively sought to secure a contract with North Korea to build nuclear reactors. During this same period of time, in a blatant conflict of interest, Donald Rumsfeld headed the Rumsfeld Commission which looked into the growing ballistic missile threat.