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SEOUL — Plying the Aegean like Ulysses of yore in Greek mythology — full of self-doubt as to what awaited him at the end of his voyage if, in fact, he reached his final destination — South Korean President Roh Moo Hyun returned from his maiden voyage to the United States on his feet, but just barely.

Give him high marks for successfully navigating past the Scylla of North Korea’s nuclear ambitions and the Charibdis of the 50-year-old U.S.-South Korean alliance, at least for the moment. But in reality, this was a summit not of decision but of deferral.

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