While acknowledging that Kim Jong-Il's government still possesses all the elements of a viable weapons program and quite possibly two functioning nuclear devices, and while further acknowledging that U.S. and South Korean troops had in fact never crossed into the DMZ, a spokesman for Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld maintained that the administration's declaration of victory is "technically accurate."
"No one said 'we defeated the North Koreans at-arms'," the spokesman insisted. "What was said is that 'major combat operations have come to end' and that 'the United States entered into a comprehensive cease fire agreement with North Korea'. All of which is literally true."
By 'cease fire agreement' the spokesman apparently meant to indicate the 1953 agreement signed between the governments of Dwight Eisenhower and Kim Il-Sung which the spokesman took pains to point out is still 'technically' in effect.
Responding to criticism that Pyongyang remains a dangerously unstable nuclear menace to at least its immediate neighbors, the spokesman observed, "Let's be clear Pyongyang's nuclear program wasn't the only reason we were acting kind of like we might be thinking of invading but never really had any strong intention of doing so. That was just one piece in the puzzle. There was also the export of ballistic weapons not to mention mass repression and widespread famine."
"But the question you have to ask yourself is this: Are the Korean people worse off than they were before we didn't invade? And, particularly if you look at Iraq, I think the answer is clear."
"Yes essential services in North Korea are basically non-existent, but they are currently back to pre non-invasion levels which is a lot more than can be said for Baghdad even 3 months on. The streets are orderly. Seoul is not a smoking ruin which the South Koreans greatly appreciate. And perhaps most importantly, we have secured this technical -- although perhaps not 'Presidential Level' -- victory without incurring a single U.S. casualty."