Friday, October 13, 2006

It Worked Until He Broke It!

(via MM)

On October 10, the LATimes reported:
Little more than four years ago, the North Korean nuclear weapons program was largely under lock and key, the threat seen as a fleeting crisis of a previous decade.

North Korea's main nuclear center at Yongbyon, 60 miles north of Pyongyang, was monitored 24 hours a day by U.N. surveillance cameras. International inspectors lived near the site. Seals were in place over key nuclear installations and a nuclear reactor at Yongbyon was gathering dust.
At an October 11, 2006 Press Conference, Two Term President George W. Bush stated:
And now all of a sudden people are saying, the Bush administration ought to be going alone with North Korea. But it didn't work in the past is my point. The strategy did not work. I learned a lesson from that and decided that the best way to convince Kim Jong-il to change his mind on a nuclear weapons program is to have others send the same message.
But then on October 12, the NYTimes points out:
Democrats and Republicans have been arguing over who was responsible for the buildup in the North. Madeleine K. Albright, a secretary of state for former President Bill Clinton, issued a statement on Wednesday defending his administration and striking back at Mr. Bush.

“During the two terms of the Clinton administration, there were no nuclear weapons tests by North Korea, no new plutonium production, and no new nuclear weapons developed in Pyongyang,” Ms. Albright’s statement said. “Through our policy of constructive engagement, the world was safer. President Bush chose a different path, and the results are evident for all to see.”
And how did he break it? Lets go back to the LATimes article:
All that changed when George W. Bush became president. Bush quickly made public his loathing for Kim and the regime. Republicans were particularly scornful of the agreement to give energy assistance to North Korea and looked for ways to void the pact.

The opportunity presented itself during the first visit by a Bush administration envoy to Pyongyang in October 2002. Assistant Secretary of State James A. Kelly was told by a North Korean official that the North was cheating on its nuclear freeze obligations by conducting secretive research into highly enriched uranium. As fuel for a nuclear weapon, highly enriched uranium is an alternative technology easier to keep hidden than a plutonium-based program, which requires a reactor such as the one at Yongbyon.

The Bush administration moved hastily to punish North Korea by cutting off shipments of fuel oil that had been pledged under the Agreed Framework.

Within weeks, the North Koreans put tape over the surveillance cameras at Yongbyon and broke the seals on their nuclear installations. By New Year's Eve, the U.N. inspectors were escorted out of North Korea.
And there's your timeline, whether you like it or not!


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