March 05, 2003

North Korea Appeasement Watch Japan

North Korea Appeasement Watch

Japan and South Korea look increasingly resigned towards allowing North Korea to possess more nukes. China, despite policy statements to the contrary, doesn't look too concerned either:

"An administration official said Chinese officials have told North Korea that China would consider any attempt to produce nuclear weapons a "direct threat to Chinese national security." While the Chinese told U.S. officials that they made it clear to North Korea they would not accept such a step, the Chinese statement did not address reprocessing or foreign sales of the resulting materials. Many strategists have long asserted that the United States, China and Russia would not allow a nuclear-armed North Korea because it could dramatically alter the power structure in northeastern Asia and lead to an arms race as both Seoul and Tokyo demanded nuclear weapons. Increasingly, however, it appears that North Korea is determined to defy those wishes. "In a way we are wasting our time to talk about dialogue with North Korea," said Masashi Nishihara, president of Japan's National Defense Academy. "Only after they develop a nuclear program will they come to the table."

So, mean, globocop America will doubtless have to forcefully remind various actors of the stakes involved whereby a cash-poor North, a proven serial proliferator, potentially sells fissile material to the highest bidder. Meanwhile, expect more provocations as Kim Jong II calculates that Iraq is a 24/7 occupation at 1600 Pennsylvania. The U.S. is strongly signalling to him that he is is wrong on that score.

Oh, and let's issue a collective sigh of relief and thanks that Madeline Albright is no longer running the 7th Floor at State. Here are some comments she made just last night at the Plaza Hotel in NYC at an awards ceremony:

She told us about meeting and conferring with Kim Jong-il, how he was very isolated and “a little strange,” but nevertheless aware of what’s going on in the world, adding that “we both wear high heels and are the same size.” She told how he lives in an environment surrounded by statues of either himself or his father but that during her tenure, they were able to stave off nuclear testing. “The North Koreans cheated a little on their treaties,” she reported, “but so did the Soviet Union” once upon a time. Talking, negotiating, she said, was everything. That is what diplomacy is."

What she meant to say is that is what bad diplomacy is. But it does help give us a better idea of why al-Qaeda, Iraq and North Korea were given virtually free rein through the Clinton party decade (on top of all the time spent scouring 401K statements in celebratory fashion).

Here's a more judicious appaisal of Albright's sad boast at the Plaza that she helped "to stave off nuclear testing" while in office from John McCain. BTW, sources tell me that Brent Scowcroft was in the crowd and held his applause throughout Albright's speech.

Key language:

"In 1994, faced with a similar challenge, the United States agreed to provide North Korea half a million tons of fuel oil annually and construct two civilian nuclear reactors in return for a freeze on Pyongyang's nuclear weapons programs. Many of us questioned how this could possibly serve our security interests. The agreement was frontloaded with benefits for North Korea, even allowing it to retain material to develop more nuclear weapons and advanced missiles that will soon be capable of striking the continental United States. In exchange, North Korea--a regime infamous for its deceit, hostility to the United States and its allies, and the megalomania of its ruler--provided a mere promise of future good faith.

Regrettably, the Clinton administration pursued a policy that was all carrot and no stick. It thus mistook for resolving the North Korean crisis what merely postponed its apogee. By granting North Korea the time and the means to improve its nuclear and missile capability, the agreement made America and our allies less, not more, secure. North Korea began a secret uranium enrichment program after 1995. Pyongyang now flaunts the failure of U.S. policy by trumpeting its nuclear progress and seeking to extort even more concessions.

We clearly enjoyed a false peace from 1994 to 2002. There can be no going back. In the face of North Korea's nuclear provocation, a return to the failed policies of the past is unacceptable. North Korea itself has declared the Agreed Framework dead and withdrawn from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty."

Posted by Gregory at March 5, 2003 09:20 AM


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