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John Bolton: N Korea Violates Nuclear Deal

From the great John Bolton via the Wall Street Journal’s OpinionJournal:

Pyongyang’s Perfidy

Photo

North Korea violates another deal. Where’s the outrage?

BY JOHN R. BOLTON

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Over a month has passed since sweetness and light were due to break out on the Korean Peninsula. On Feb. 13, the Six-Party Talks in Beijing ratified a bilateral agreement between the U.S. and North Korea, providing for Pyongyang to give up its nuclear programs. The first step, 60 days after ratification, was to be that North Korea “will shut down and seal for the purpose of eventual abandonment” the Yongbyon nuclear facility, and readmit inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Other steps were to follow, but the first move was unequivocally to be made by Pyongyang. The 60 days came and went, and indeed, another 37 days have come and gone. No IAEA inspectors have been readmitted, and not even Pyongyang claims that it has “shut down” Yongbyon.

Instead, observers–especially Iran and other nuclear weapons aspirants–have witnessed embarrassing U.S. weakness on a supposedly unrelated issue, unmentioned in the Feb. 13 agreement. That issue involves North Korea’s widely publicized demand that approximately $25 million frozen in Macau-based Banco Delta Asia (BDA) accounts be released and transferred to Pyongyang. The funds came from North Korean counterfeiting of U.S. currency, money laundering and other fraudulent activities uncovered by a U.S. Treasury investigation begun in 2003. The accounts were frozen in 2005 and the BDA was promptly put on Treasury’s blacklist for illicit activity.

While the Bush administration denies a direct link, the North Koreans have said publicly that they will not comply with the bilateral agreement until the BDA funds are safely under their control. This obvious quid pro quo is not only embarrassing, it sets a dangerous precedent for other regimes that would blackmail the U.S. What are the consequences of the BDA meltdown?

First, the timetable of the Feb. 13 agreement is already shredded. President Bush said at the time of the deal: “Those who say that the North Koreans have got to prove themselves by actually following through on the deal are right, and I’m one.” Assistant Secretary of State Chris Hill, the deal’s U.S. architect and chief negotiator, said: “We need to avoid above all missing deadlines. It’s like a broken-window theory: one window is unrepaired, and before you know it you’ll have a lot of broken windows and nobody cares.”

Those statements were correct when made, and they are correct today. Sadly, however, they no longer seem to be “operative.”

Second, by making secret side deals with North Korea, the State Department has left itself vulnerable to future renegotiation efforts. This is the North’s classic style: Negotiate hard to reach an agreement, sign it, and then start renegotiating, not to mention violating the deal at will. America’s serial concessions on BDA simply confirm to Pyongyang that State is well into the “save the deal” mode, which bodes well for future North Korean efforts to recast it…

I highly recommend everyone take the time to read this article. John Bolton is one of the last clear-eyed men left in US politics.

Which is why the Democrats could never allow him to represent our country at the United Nations.

(And I’m not just saying that because he worked in a mention of Sweetness & Light.)

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, May 20th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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