kicked out of the "axis"?

This week, President Bush announced that he was taking North Korea off the State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism: Bush Rebuffs Hard-Liners to Ease North Korean Curbs. This is the same nation George W. once famously described as part of the "Axis of Evil." You can certainly bet that Dick Cheney and Co. were not happy about this move, as indicated by the exchange that opens the New York Times story.

The administration's announcement has been interpreted as a largely symbolic, reciprocal move, made in return for North Korea's long-delayed declaration of its nuclear program to the outside world. It's the first step in what's expected to be a long, drawn-out diplomatic process meant to lead eventually to establishing a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.

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