Bloggers discuss renewed six-party negotiations to disband North Korea's nuclear weapons program. They also praise a plan to build the nation's tallest skyscraper in Chicago and laugh off reports that Sony Music bought airtime for some of its more synthetic acts.
No nukes is good nukes: North Korea has returned to six-party talks aimed at ending its nuclear program, 13 months after abandoning the negotiations and threatening to expand its putative arsenal. As a show of good faith, the United States reversed its earlier policy and engaged the DPRK in a bilateral meeting in Beijing.
"It's great to see some progress being made," applauds The Jurist, a liberal at Accidental Deliberations. "Funny how it's easier to make gains through diplomacy when there's actual conversation rather than a series of demands and threats." At WhirledView, Cheryl Rofer reaches a similar conclusion. "We may be seeing the faintest first signs of progress toward controlling nuclear proliferation on the Korean peninsula," she says. "Could it be because John Bolton's attentions are now elsewhere?"
"This is precisely what the US needs; a fairly closed environment and low expectations may lead to the kind of incremental breakthrough that will bring some stability to the peninsula," suggests liberal blogger Stygius, who believes President Bush has finally untied the hands of his senior diplomats to negotiate a compromise agreement.
Nevertheless, Joel Gaines of No Pundit Intended suggests there will be little progress as long as North Korea continues to play hardball. "We cannot afford to forget the DPRK is set on the unification of the Korean penninsula, with the goal of creating a nuclear-armed worker's paradise able to swing clout throughout Asia," he warns. Others think the volatility of the hermit kingdom can be checked and perhaps even neutralized. "Here's one obvious advantage to having multilateral talks," contendsLifelike Pundits' Pat, a conservative. "Because when China is part of the talks, there's one major country at the table that can say, 'I don't care what you do to Seoul.' Ironically that may make the South Koreans safer."
Blogging executive TigerHawk wonders how the bilateral meeting was reported in the DPRK. "My guess is that this short pre-meeting meeting was a concession that we permitted the Chinese to offer to the Norks to get them back to the table. We can claim that it was no concession at all because no 'negotiating' took place, and they can claim that they got their face-to-face meeting with the United States notwithstanding the resumption of six party talks."
Read more about North Korea and the nuclear talks.
The Second City gets the top tower: Architect Santiago Calatrava and developer Christopher Carley will unveil plans (scroll down to see what the building will look like) for the world's tallest building tomorrow, a 115-story, 2,000-foot spiraling structure to be built along Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. The building, to be called the Fordham Spire, has been described as "ethereal," compared to "a drill bit, a blade of grass," and derided as "an oversized birthday candle."
"The most beautiful skyscaper ever?" asks formidable law blogger Ann Althouse. "I say it is. … Build it!" A number of bloggers celebrate the design while lamenting the location. "It looks like we'll have to turn to Chicago and Santiago Calatrava to build a soaring skyscraper response to 9/11," sighs Stefan Geens at MemeFirst. "Why oh why can't New York muster something as delightful as [this]? That thing would look awesome in lower Manhattan. Instead we get the Freedom Bunker."
"Chicagoist sees just one thing when it gazes at the rendering: soft serve ice cream," quips Andrew Peerless at the Second City stomping ground. "Mr. Calatrava must be just as excited as we are about Southport's new Dairy Queen location, and after spending the past five years in a city with nary a Butterfinger Blizzard in sight, we're totally feelin' him. Santiago, your next Peanut Buster Parfait is on us."