North Korea Is Following the Saddam Hussein Playbook

by James Traub

Twenty years ago, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan flew to Baghdad on what appeared to be a hopeless mission to persuade Saddam Hussein to grant UN weapons inspectors access to sensitive sites, and thus avert an impending war. The negotiations were tortuous, but Annan ultimately got Saddam to agree to everything that Washington and other capitals had demanded. In the aftermath, Annan was exhausted, euphoric, quietly proud of his own work. The UN Security Council accepted the deal, and the inspectors returned to work.

Then Saddam changed his mind, and barred them from the sensitive sites. The deal collapsed, and in December 1998, 10 months after Annan’s dash to Baghdad, the United States and the United Kingdom bombed Iraq.

Read the full Foreign Policy article here.

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Jun 11, 2018
James Traub
East Asia