I can imagine that the pressure from Japan has been intense, particularly in light of North Korea’s increasingly brazen claims about just what the U.S. had agreed to lift, and when. The North Koreans forced us to correct the record:
North Korea will not be easily removed from the U.S. list of states that sponskor terrorism. U.S. State Department spokesman Tom Casey said that taking North Korea off the terrorism blacklist is a process that will require a lot of time and careful reviews. He also made it clear that the process to normalize diplomatic ties between the U.S. and North Korea can move forward only when the North takes steps to make the Korean Peninsula nuclear-free.
Casey, seemingly wanting to dampen expectations that the North will be taken off the list quickly, said that Pyongyang should answer questions about why it had been put on the list. North Korea’s top nuclear envoy Kim Kye-kwan said recently that the U.S. promised to de-list North Korea. [Chosun Ilbo]
I guess this is why lawyers write clauses into even the most ordinary agreements that no term not appearing in the contract has been agreed by the parties. How long until we can expect to see a Selig Harrison article claiming that the U.S. really did promise the North Koreas that we’d lift all sanctions, or should?