|10-20-2006, 07:14 PM||#1|
Angling in the Deep
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Texas Riviera, Southern Mountains
Bush Partly to Blame for N.Korea Test
There's no doubt Bush policies of isolation has escalated NK's nuclear weapon program.
Carter says Bush partly to blame for N.Korea test
By Adam Tanner 2 hours, 27 minutes ago
LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - Former President Jimmy Carter said on Friday the Bush administration was partly responsible for North Korea's decision to test a nuclear device by isolating the Asian country, and he urged Washington to change course and talk with Pyongyang.
"Obviously most of the blame is on North Korea but it is U.S. policies that have brought us to this status," he told Reuters while riding between campaign stops for his son Jack who is running for the U.S. Senate in Nevada.
Carter, president from 1977 to 1981, negotiated a deal during a visit to North Korea in 1994 over the reclusive communist state's nuclear program when fellow Democrat
Bill Clinton was president.
"The Bush administration changed that policy," he continued. "They put in the trash can the agreement with North Korea, and as a result of that -- and threatened North Korea with military attack -- and as a result of those threats and the discarding of the previous agreement, North Korea announced that they were withdrawing from the Non-Proliferation Treaty."
"It's like night and day. It was daytime when Clinton was in office that totally prohibited and prevented any sort of plutonium enrichment," he said. "All that was dramatically changed under George Bush and now we have the North Koreans having exploded a plutonium bomb."
Carter said he favored resuming talks with North Korea.
"Unfortunately, the U.S. government has established an unprecedented international policy of not talking to anyone who disagrees with us," he said.
Bush has rejected Democratic criticism of his North Korean policy and said direct talks with North Korea failed in the past, citing the North's violation of its 1994 agreement with the Clinton administration. Bush has pursued six-party talks in which the United States, China,
South Korea, Japan and Russia deal jointly with North Korea.
|10-22-2006, 04:45 AM||#6|
Mo' holla fo' yo' dolla!
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: In a bunker in an undisclosed location
Facts are like room deodorizing spray that gets rid of the stench of right-wing propaganda W*GS leaves everywhere he goes...
N. Korea, 6, and Bush, 0
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
Published: April 26, 2005
Here's a foreign affairs quiz:
(1) How many nuclear weapons did North Korea produce in Bill Clinton's eight years of office?
(2) How many nuclear weapons has it produced so far in President Bush's four years in office?
The answer to the first question, by all accounts, is zero. The answer to the second is fuzzier, but about six.
The total will probably rise in coming months, for North Korea has shut down its Yongbyon reactor and says that it plans to extract the fuel rods from it. That will give it enough plutonium for two or three more weapons.
The single greatest failure of the Bush administration's foreign policy concerns North Korea. Mr. Bush's policies toward North Korea have backfired and led the North to churn out nuclear weapons, and they have also antagonized our allies and diminished America's stature in Asia.
The upshot is that there's a significantly greater risk of another Korean War, a greater likelihood that other Asian countries, like Japan, will eventually go nuclear as well, and a greater risk that terrorists will acquire plutonium or uranium.
In fairness, all this is more Kim Jong Il's fault than Mr. Bush's. Right now some administration officials are glaring at this page and muttering expletives about smarty-pants journalists who don't appreciate how wretched all the options are.
But if the Bush administration had just adopted the policies that Colin Powell initially pushed for - and that Mr. Bush largely came to accept several years later - then this mess could probably have been averted.
You don't have to take it from me. Charles Pritchard, the ambassador and special envoy who was the point man for North Korea in the first Bush administration, says of this administration's decision-makers: "They blew it." Another expert still involved in North Korea policy puts it this way: "Their A.B.C. approach - 'Anything but Clinton' - led to these problems."
A bit of background: North Korea made one or two nuclear weapons around 1989, during the first Bush administration, but froze its plutonium program under the 1994 "Agreed Framework" with the Clinton administration. North Korea adhered to the freeze on plutonium production, but about 1999, it secretly started on a second nuclear route involving uranium.
That was much less worrisome than the plutonium program (it still seems to be years from producing a single uranium weapon), and it probably could have been resolved through negotiation, as past crises had been.
Instead, Mr. Bush refused to negotiate bilaterally, so now we have the worst of both worlds: that uranium program is still in place, and the plutonium program is churning out weapons material as well.
Now the administration talks about asking the Security Council for some kind of limited quarantine for North Korea. That won't fly, because China and South Korea won't enforce it.
It's more likely that North Korea will continue to churn out plutonium as well as uranium, and perhaps conduct an underground nuclear test. And administration hawks will again consider a military strike on Yongbyon, even though that would risk another Korean War.
North Korea is the most odious country in the world today. It has been caught counterfeiting U.S. dollars and smuggling drugs, and prisoners have been led along with wire threaded through their collarbones so they can't run away. While some two million North Koreans were starving to death in the late 1990's, Mr. Kim spent $2.6 million on Swiss watches. He's the kind of man who, when he didn't like a haircut once, executed the barber.
But Mr. Bush seems frozen in the headlights, unable to take any action at all toward North Korea. American policy now is to hope that Mr. Kim has a heart attack.
Selig Harrison, an American scholar just back from Pyongyang, says North Korean officials told him that in direct negotiations with the U.S., they would be willing to discuss a return to their plutonium freeze. Everything would depend on the details, including verification, but why are we refusing so adamantly even to explore this possibility?
The irony is that Mr. Bush's policies toward North Korea have steadily become more reasonable over time. Perhaps by the time he leaves office, he'll finally be willing to negotiate seriously with the North Koreans.
But by then North Korea will have well over a dozen nuclear weapons, the risks of a terrorist nuclear explosion at Grand Central Terminal will be increased, and our influence in Asia will be in tatters.