North Korea

North Korea Shuts Reactor, Seeks End To Sanctions

North Korea has shutdown its one operational nuclear reactor after having received an oil shipment for South Korea. U.N. inspectors are expected to verify the shutdown soon.

Zoellick Another PNAC Neoconservative Hack

Today president Bush nominated Robert Zoellick to replace Paul Wolfowitz as head of the World Bank. Both men, along with Donald Rumsfeld, James Woolsey, and Richard Armitage were signatories to an open letter to president Clinton in 1998 seeking an American invasion of Iraq.

North Korea Tests Missiles

In response to South Korea launching a new Aegis equipped destroyer, North Korea test fired some guided short-range missiles.

North Korea: What's Being Done Besides Finger Pointing?

Talk to a Republican and they'll rant a litany of the failings of the Clinton Administration, which ended January 20, 2001, to keep North Korea out of the Nuclear Club. Talk to a Democrat and they'll tell you that it is the Bush Administration's consistent policy of disengagement (refusing direct talks) that is to blame. Consider this moderating quote from Larry Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell:

"It's difficult to say that the Clinton policy failed, but it's crystal clear that the current policy has failed. You need a carrot-and-stick approach -- you can't just use the stick."

I do believe that the Clinton Administration was lax in it's dealings with many of the threats facing the U.S. and its interests, preferring to put out fires rather than work to prevent them. In 1994, the U.S. and North Korea entered into the "agreed framework," negotiated by former president Jimmy Carter, under which North Korea would receive two light water reactors in exchange for abiding by the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and handing over its old reactor rods. This deal, had it been kept, would have left North Korea without material for weapons.

North Korean Diplomat Makes Vague Threat Of War

Buried in this Reuters story, a North Korean diplomat makes an interesting statement:

"These kinds of threats of nuclear war and tensions and pressure by the United States compel us to conduct a nuclear test," North Korean embassy spokesman Pak Myong Guk told Reuters in Canberra.

"Now the situation around the Korean peninsula is very tense," Pak said. "It may be breaking out (in) a war at any time, I think."

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