Wednesday, October 3, 2007

We have a deal on North Korean Nukes

A year after North Korea popped off their fizzler, a deal has been reached to rein in the NorK nuclear program and get them off the “Axis of Evil” list of nations that are state sponsors of terrorism. The move is symbolic in the western world, but certain to throw a wet blanket on the relationship between the U.S. and Japan, which still wants answers about the kidnapping of Japanese Citizens by North Korean agents .

Under the new agreement, reached under the “Six Party Talks” consortium of nations, and involving a side-deal between the NorK’s and the United States, the U.S. is accepting a more limited action than originally bargained for, with one facility being mothballed instead of three. North Korea is in exchange disclosing the extent of it’s weapons program – how much fissile material do they have, and how much was used in last years test?

(keep reading)

According to the text of the document, released by China's official Xinhua news agency, North Korea agreed to disable the 5 megawatt experimental reactor at Yongbyon, a fuel reprocessing plant, and a nuclear fuel rod facility by Dec. 31. The work will be paid for and overseen by the U.S. Alongside that commitment, the document says that the U.S. will "begin the process of removing" North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism and lifting trade sanctions.

The actions outlined by the document are "a major step towards the goal of achieving the verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula" and would "effectively end" North Korea's production of plutonium, said White House National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe, the Associated Press reported.

Under the agreement, North Korea also will allow nuclear experts from Russia, China and the United States to examine aluminum tubes procured from Russia that could have been used in a uranium-enrichment program, diplomats said.

Lest anyone rush to pat the Bush administration on the back for getting something right, lets do a reality check:

  • The North Koreans kicked inspectors out of the country after the Bush administration cited solid intelligence that the North Koreans were cheating on the Agreed Framework. Par for the course, the Bushies had to fess up later that their intel was not all that and a bag of chips. You could even call it phony.

  • When Bush took office, North Korea had miniscule amounts of fissile material, if any at all. Now it has conducted a nuclear test and has enough weapos grade material for up to a dozen nuclear bombs. Even the most conservative estimates peg it at enough for 6-8 weapons.

So don’t get in a big toot to congratulate the chimperor for putting out a fire when he struck the match and dropped it in a puddle of gasoline in the first damned place.