Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Neo-Cons pissed that Bush blew it on North Korea by escalating their Nuke's, then Bush goes back and uses Clinton's Original Deal.

This deal is no bargain

Max Boot

September 21, 2005

ONE SUSPECTS that if George W. Bush were not in the White House, he would be condemning the accord with North Korea announced on Monday. As it is, the president was decidedly lukewarm in his endorsement of what others are prematurely calling a breakthrough. His caution is warranted, because the six-party deal unveiled in Beijing has loopholes big enough to fly an ICBM through.

The most obvious flaw became apparent within hours: North Korea and the United States have very different ideas of what was agreed to. Pyongyang issued a blunt addendum saying it would not even dream of disarming until the U.S. and other signatories provided it with a light-water nuclear reactor. The Bush administration has rightly refused to deliver a "civilian" nuclear plant that could be turned to military uses — at least not before an ironclad verification program is in place.

No such inspection agreement has been reached, nor is one likely. It is hard to imagine the world's most closed society giving foreign inspectors the run of its countryside. Under the 1994 Agreed Framework, inspectors were allowed to visit only the atomic facility at Yongbyon. Meanwhile, U.S. intelligence indicates that Kim Jong Il set up a covert effort to enrich uranium far away from the world's prying gaze. Even today Kim will not admit to the existence of this secret program, making it doubtful that he will honor his latest commitment to abandon all "existing nuclear programs."

This does not necessarily mean that it was a mistake for the U.S. to sign Monday's joint statement. North Korea did offer concessions, at least on paper, that go beyond those reached in 1994 — for instance, it committed to dismantling rather than simply freezing its atomic weapons programs. And, unlike in 1994, the U.S. did not commit to massive aid before the dismantling is completed.,0...

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