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August 28th, 2003 - 10:18 am

More from the North Korean talks:

All sides attending the Beijing six-party talks Thursday “frankly” exchanged views on principled stands and proposals they raised Wednesday. This was disclosed by sources from the Chinese delegation attending the talks which entered its second day Thursday.

“A frank exchange of views” doesn’t mean there was lots of shouting. Diplomats don’t generally shout — they leave that to “lesser beings,” like Army officers.

What it does mean is that everybody repeated the same, boring statements all day long, and that all the positions were diametrically opposed. It’s the trench warfare of diplomacy, and victories will be measured in yards.