Tuesday, February 13, 2007

North Korean lies -- and I again repeat myself

Talks had stalled because of North Korea's "aid" demands (I personally suspect because we offered only VSOP cognac at best, but Kimmy Kook demanded Louis XIII). And now there's hope...supposedly:
N. Korea agrees to nuclear disarmament

BEIJING, China (AP) -- North Korea agreed Tuesday to take first steps toward nuclear disarmament and shut down its main reactor within 60 days before eventually dismantling its atomic weapons program.

Under the deal, the North will receive initial aid equal to 50,000 tons of heavy fuel oil for shutting down and sealing its main nuclear reactor and related facilities at Yongbyon, north of the capital, to be confirmed by international inspectors.

For irreversibly disabling the reactor and declaring all nuclear programs, the North will eventually receive another 950,000 tons in aid.

The agreement was read to all delegates in a conference room at a Chinese state guesthouse and Chinese envoy Wu Dawei asked if there were any objections. When none were made, the officials all stood and applauded.

North Korea and United States also will embark on talks aimed at resolving disputes and restarting diplomatic relations, Wu said. The Korean peninsula has technically remained in a state of war for more than a half-century since the Korean War ended in a 1953 cease-fire.
Good lord, are our American negotiators that naive? What do they think happened in 1994? Never forget: that's another thing for which we can thank Jimmy Carter.

Some might argue that this time is different, that at least we're only giving "aid," not helping North Korea build light-water reactors. However, John McCain noted in his blogging debut,
I would remind Senator Hillary Clinton and other Democrats critical of Bush Administration policies that the framework agreement her husband's administration negotiated was a failure. The Koreans received millions in energy assistance. They diverted millions in food assistance to their military. And what did they do? They secretly enriched uranium.
I added,
There's an old term "guns and butter," illustrating the concept of tradeoffs. In North Korea's case, until now they haven't had to worry about spending any national income on butter: they've been able to spend most of it on guns, because the U.S., Japan, China and others have been stupid enough to supply the butter.
And our stupidity continues, borne of and perpetuated by government. Each of us individually, had we a crazed neighbor who starved his family in order to build up his arsenal, would never give a thing to him.

When the Bush Administration's negotiators are themselves exhibiting Neville Chamberlain Syndrome, what more could North Korea want? How about Hillary winning two full presidential terms and continuing her husband's legacy, and Obama starting on his own first term?

For further reading: John McCain's blogging debut

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