Well, what do you know? There’s some good news in foreign policy, for a change. Some good news and a strong lesson.

The good news? Looks like we’ve got a deal with North Korea. Because both sides changed course.

After threatening to bomb North Korea, the Bush administration agreed, instead, to re-open six-party talks. And, after insisting it would never abandon its rush to nuclear power, North Korea agreed to at least sit down and talk about it.

Result: Under the new pact, North Korea will freeze all development of nuclear power and allow international inspectors into the country. And the U.S. and four other nations will provide North Korea $400 million in food and fuel oil, which they badly need.

Of course, this happens to be the same agreement negotiated by Madeleine Albright, but rejected by George W. Bush when he was newly elected. Had Bush accepted the deal five years ago, North Korea might never have developed nuclear weapons at all.

Still, it’s a good deal – and a hell of a lot better than another war.

And there’s the lesson: If diplomacy worked so well with North Korea, why aren’t we willing to start talks with Iran?