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CIA to describe North Korea-Syria nuclear ties PDF Print E-mail
Written by LATimes, Reuters, AP, Yahoo, WSJ, Washington Times/Post, FOX News   
Thursday, 24 April 2008

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CIA: Videotape Links N. Koreans to Secret Syrian Nuclear Reactor

CIA to describe North Korea-Syria nuclear ties - LATimes

Officials will tell Congress members this week that North Korea was helping Syria build a reactor last year when it was destroyed by an Israeli airstrike, a U.S. official says.

By Paul Richter and Greg Miller, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
April 23, 2008

WASHINGTON -- CIA officials will tell Congress on Thursday that North Korea had been helping Syria build a plutonium-based nuclear reactor, a U.S. official said, a disclosure that could touch off new resistance to the administration's plan to ease sanctions on Pyongyang.

The CIA officials will tell lawmakers that they believe the reactor would have been capable of producing plutonium for nuclear weapons but was destroyed before it could do so, the U.S. official said, apparently referring to a suspicious installation in Syria that was bombed last year by Israeli warplanes.
 
The CIA officials also will say that though U.S. officials have had concerns for years about ties between North Korea and Syria, it was not until last year that new intelligence convinced them that the suspicious facility under construction in a remote area of Syria was a nuclear reactor, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity when discussing plans for the briefing.

By holding closed, classified briefings for members of several congressional committees, the administration will break a long silence on North Korean-Syrian nuclear cooperation and on what it knows about last year's destruction of the Syrian facility. Nonetheless, it has been widely assumed for months that many in the administration considered the site a nuclear installation.

It was not clear Tuesday how recently North Korea may have been aiding Syria. But disclosure of the relationship to the committees is likely to bring criticism from conservative lawmakers who already believe that U.S. overtures to North Korea have offered the government in Pyongyang too many benefits without assurances that it will disclose the extent of its nuclear arms effort or ultimately surrender its weapons.

U.S. officials provided little explanation of why they want to brief lawmakers on the North Korean-Syrian links after declining to do so for months.

A senior Senate aide said the timing appears driven by a Bush administration desire to apprise committee members of the latest intelligence on the reactor before releasing some of the information.

"I have this strong impression the reason they want to brief the committee is they want to say something publicly," said the aide, who discussed contacts with the administration only on condition of anonymity.

The administration has briefed senior members of the House and Senate intelligence committees, a senior Senate aide said. But other lawmakers have remained in the dark. The administration has been under pressure to extend briefings to a larger circle of lawmakers.

The administration is planning to ease sanctions on North Korea as part of talks aimed at removing Pyongyang's nuclear weapons. The six nations involved in the talks, which also include China, Russia, South Korea and Japan, have been negotiating since 2003.

After a breakthrough last year in which North Korea agreed to shut down its only functioning nuclear production facility, it was rewarded with fuel oil and the release of frozen bank funds. But talks stalled after the Bush administration demanded that Pyongyang provide a full description of its past nuclear activities by a December 2007 deadline.

Shifting course, U.S. officials said two weeks ago that it would be sufficient for the North Koreans to acknowledge U.S. concerns about their nuclear activities. In return, administration officials would remove North Korea from the stigmatizing U.S. list of countries that sponsor terrorism and Pyongyang would no longer be subject to U.S. trade sanctions under the Trading with the Enemy Act, a 1917 law.

The administration shift appeared to give ground to North Korea in the negotiations, spurring fierce criticism from U.S. conservatives and debate over the broader plan to ease sanctions as a step toward dismantling Pyongyang's weapons programs.

But under the latest approach, U.S. officials will describe to the North Koreans at least some of their conclusions about Pyongyang's links with Syria. Some analysts speculated that U.S. officials may wish to avoid sharing intelligence with North Korea before they have briefed most members of Congress.

Danielle Pletka, a vice president of the conservative-leaning American Enterprise Institute think tank, said the congressional briefings were simply a step the administration needed to take to move forward. "This is a box-checking exercise," she said.

Gordon Johndroe, a White House spokesman, said, "The administration routinely keeps appropriate members of Congress informed of national security and intelligence matters." He declined to comment on specific sessions, however.

Rep. Peter Hoekstra of Michigan, the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, complained in an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal in October that the administration "has thrown an unprecedented veil of secrecy around the Israeli airstrike," and that based on information he had been given "it is critical for every member of Congress to be briefed on this incident, and as soon as possible."

Some administration officials are believed to be unhappy with the latest developments in talks with North Korea. But several analysts were skeptical of speculation that the briefing might have been initiated by internal opponents who hope to set off an outcry that would scuttle any deal with Pyongyang.

"You'll have some outcry, but I doubt there are enough people on Capitol Hill even paying attention to oppose it," said Gordon Flake, who follows the issue as executive director of the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation and is a critic of such a pact.

He speculated that lawmakers would be reluctant to stand in the way of the deal, because that would risk criticism that they had blocked a hopeful avenue of progress on a top national security problem.

Another senior Senate aide said that although the disclosure might bring complaints, Congress would not turn against the negotiations with North Korea. The critics would not be able to come up with any better alternative, he said, speaking on condition of anonymity when discussing senators' views.

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Times staff writer Julian E. Barnes contributed to this report.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-norkor23apr23,0,3070215.story

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Fox News Interview with Former US UN Amb. John Bolton April 23, 2008

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CIA: Videotape Links N. Koreans to Secret Syrian Nuclear Reactor
Thursday , April 24, 2008, Associated Press

WASHINGTON — U.S. intelligence officials will show members of Congress a videotape and other evidence supporting their case that Syria was building a nuclear reactor with North Korean assistance before it was bombed by Israeli planes in September 2007, a U.S. official said Wednesday.

Intelligence officials who have seen the evidence consider it "extremely compelling," the U.S. official said. He said it was gleaned from a variety of sources, not just Israeli intelligence. He spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the information.

The Syrian reactor was similar in design to a North Korean reactor that has in the past produced small amounts of plutonium, the official said. It was not yet complete but was far enough along to demonstrate a resemblance to the North Korean reactor at Yonbyon.

The official said no uranium_ the fuel for a reactor_ was evident on site. Syria has maintained in the past that the site was an unused military facility.

Syria did not declare the apparent reactor to the International Atomic Energy Agency nor was it under international safeguards, possibly putting Syria in breech of an international nuclear nonproliferation treaty.

Plutonium-producing reactors are of international interest because plutonium can be used to make high-yield nuclear weapons.

Israeli warplanes bombed a site in Syria on Sept. 6, 2007, that private analysts say appears to have been the site of a reactor, based on commercial satellite imagery taken after the raid. The site later was razed.

U.S. officials said Israel shared intelligence with the United States before the bombing after administration officials expressed doubts that the site was a nuclear reactor built with North Korea's assistance, according to The Washington Post, which first reported the existence of the videotape on its Web site Wednesday.

The target of Israel's raid has been veiled in secrecy, with U.S. intelligence and government officials refusing to confirm until now that suspicions that the site was to be a nuclear reactor.

CIA Director Michael Hayden and other intelligence officials are to brief Congress on the evidence related to the bombed Syrian facility in appearances Thursday before six committees, including the Senate and House intelligence committees.

The revelation of alleged North Korean cooperation with Syria comes at a sensitive time for Pyongyang.

U.S. diplomats are pressing North Korea to come clean about its nuclear cooperation with Syria as part of those talks but have had little success.

Under an agreement reached last year with the United States, China, Japan, South Korea and Russia, the North is required to give a full account of its nuclear programs, including whether it spread nuclear technology.

North Korea claims it gave the nuclear declaration to the U.S. in November, but U.S. officials say the North never produced a "complete and correct" declaration.

The Capitol Hill briefings also come the same week a U.S. delegation went to North Korea to press the regime for a detailed list of its nuclear programs, the latest sticking point at international nuclear disarmament talks.

The leader of the delegation is expected to report back to Washington on Friday.

The U.S. recently has stepped back from its push for a detailed declaration addressing the North's alleged secret uranium enrichment program and nuclear cooperation with Syria. Now, the U.S. says it wants the North to simply acknowledge the concerns and then set up a system to verify the country doesn't continue such activity in the future.

President Bush defended the plans over the weekend during a meeting with new South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, saying North Korea had the burden of proof under the agreements.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,352382,00.html

http://www.foxnews.com/printer_friendly_story/0,3566,352382,00.html

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U.S. thinks N.Korea aided Syria on plutonium program
By Arshad Mohammed
Wed Apr 23, 6:50 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Bush administration is expected to tell U.S. lawmakers on Thursday it believes North Korea was helping Syria build a nuclear reactor that could produce plutonium, a U.S. official said on Wednesday.

The White House has said little about the possibility of such cooperation between the two since Israel conducted a mysterious September 6 air strike on Syria that media reports said targeted a nuclear site being built with Pyongyang's help.

"The sense is that the Syrians, with the help of the North Koreans, were attempting to build an undeclared facility that could indeed produce plutonium," said the official, who spoke on condition he not be named because of the sensitivity of the matter, of the congressional briefings' likely content.

The Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Journal reported the information in their Wednesday editions.

The U.S. official did not explicitly tie the closed-door briefings to the Israeli strike but hinted at this by saying "if an undeclared reactor in dangerous hands were put out of commission before it was operational, that's a good thing."

At U.N. headquarters in New York, Syrian Ambassador to the United Nations Bashar Ja'afari told reporters: "There was no Syria-North Korea cooperation whatsoever in Syria. We deny these rumors."

While a handful of lawmakers were briefed on the issue last year, the decision to widen the circle comes as Washington appears closer to a deal for North Korea to provide an overdue declaration of its nuclear programs.

Once the poor, communist state has produced the declaration, the United States is expected to ease sanctions on Pyongyang that flow from its presence on the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism and the U.S. Trading With the Enemy Act.

Analysts believe Thursday's briefings aim to persuade members of Congress that easing the sanctions is justified.

SKEPTICISM

There is skepticism, especially among the administration's Republican allies in Congress, that relaxing the sanctions is warranted and there are concerns North Korea will not produce the "complete and correct" declaration of its nuclear programs it has promised under a multilateral agreement.

The declaration is one step toward carrying out a 2005 agreement among the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the United States in which North Korea committed to abandoning any nuclear weapons and programs.

Under a tentative deal being discussed, North Korea would produce a declaration on its plutonium-related program but address suspicions on nuclear proliferation with Syria and on its suspected uranium enrichment program in a different way.

According to people familiar with the plan, Washington would put forward its concerns about North Korea's suspected uranium enrichment program and nuclear proliferation and North Korea would then "acknowledge the U.S. concerns."

Critics fear the administration may accept a partial declaration -- something the State Department denies.

Jon Wolfsthal, a nonproliferation expert with the CSIS think tank in Washington, said that if the United States has strong evidence North Korea assisted Syria on nuclear development this might allay congressional concerns.

"If it turns out we have them dead to rights -- that we have enough information on our own -- then we can eliminate this as a point of contention," he said. "Maybe we don't need to negotiate transparency with North Korea because we already know enough."

The briefings could open a diplomatic Pandora's box for the United States with implications for its dealings with close ally Israel as well as with Syria and North Korea, which have had poor relations with Washington.

One matter of sensitivity for Israel -- which is widely believed to be the source of some of the intelligence on Syria -- is the possibility that wider disclosure could antagonize Damascus and produce a negative reaction.

Syria is regarded by the United States as a state sponsor of terrorism and has long hosted Palestinian groups that have carried out attacks on Israelis.

The briefing could also irk North Korea, which U.S. officials say is sensitive to the possible disclosure of any nuclear proliferation it may have engaged in.

However, some congressional aides and analysts said a briefing is a necessity if the administration is to win support for continuing the six-party process and for providing the funds needed to dismantle Pyongyang's nuclear facilities.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080423/ts_nm/korea_north_usa_dc

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Exclusive: Pyongyang scrambles to offset impending Syrian plutonium reactor revelations in Congress
April 23, 2008, 11:47 AM (GMT+02:00)
DebkaFILE

The CIA plans to reveal to a closed-door congressional panel session Thursday April 24 that the Syrian site targeted by Israel’s air raid last September was a reactor capable of producing plutonium for nuclear weapons, thereby offering final proof of North Korea’s nuclear ties with Syria. This is reported by the LA Times.

DEBKAfile’s Middle East sources reveal that Pyongyang took the unusual step Wed. April 23 his week of ordering its Damascus embassy to gather Arab correspondents in the Syrian capital for an extraordinary briefing: The first secretary told them that North Korea had nothing to do with the destroyed reactor. However, he did not deny that Pyongyang maintained extensive military ties of cooperation with Damascus.

On April 22, A US team, led by Sung Kim - the top U.S. State Department expert on the Koreas - reached Pyongyang for a three-day stay to discuss North Korea’s failure to meet its December deadline for dismantling its nuclear program.

http://www.debka.com/headline.php?hid=5211

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CIA to disclose Israeli September raid destroyed Syrian plutonium reactor
April 23, 2008, 6:59 PM (GMT+02:00)
DebkaFILE

The Los Angeles Times reports that the CIA plans to brief key lawmakers in a closed-door session April 24 about the mysterious Syrian site that was targeted by an Israeli air raid last September. DEBKA-Net-Weekly 320 was first to report on Oct. 6, 2007 that the target of the Israeli raid on Sept. 6, 2007, was a plutonium reactor in a remote part of Syria..

The CIA officials will tell lawmakers they believe the reactor would have been capable of producing plutonium for nuclear weapons but was destroyed before it could do so. They will also say that though US officials had had concerns for years about ties between North Korea and Syria, it was not until last year that the new intelligence [gathered in the Israeli raid] provided them with the evidence.

http://www.debka.com/headline.php?hid=5210

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Syria: CIA Video Showing North Koreans At Reactor
April 24, 2008 | 1109 GMT
Stratfor

The CIA is set to release a video to the U.S. Congress on April 24 showing an alleged Syrian nuclear power facility, code-named Al Kibar, with North Koreans inside it, the Washington Post reported. Reports say that the video, taken in the summer of 2006, shows a nuclear reactor design “virtually identical” to the North Korean reactor at Yongbyon, which produces plutonium for Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program.

http://www.stratfor.com/sitrep/syria_cia_video_showing_north_koreans_reactor

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N. Koreans Taped At Syrian Reactor
Video Played a Role in Israeli Raid
By Robin Wright
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, April 24, 2008; Page A01

A video taken inside a secret Syrian facility last summer convinced the Israeli government and the Bush administration that North Korea was helping to construct a reactor similar to one that produces plutonium for North Korea's nuclear arsenal, according to senior U.S. officials who said it would be shared with lawmakers today.

The officials said the video of the remote site, code-named Al Kibar by the Syrians, shows North Koreans inside. It played a pivotal role in Israel's decision to bomb the facility late at night last Sept. 6, a move that was publicly denounced by Damascus but not by Washington.

Sources familiar with the video say it also shows that the Syrian reactor core's design is the same as that of the North Korean reactor at Yongbyon, including a virtually identical configuration and number of holes for fuel rods. It shows "remarkable resemblances inside and out to Yongbyon," a U.S. intelligence official said. A nuclear weapons specialist called the video "very, very damning."

Nuclear weapons analysts and U.S. officials predicted that CIA Director Michael V. Hayden's planned disclosures to Capitol Hill could complicate U.S. efforts to improve relations with North Korea as a way to stop its nuclear weapons program. They come as factions inside the administration and in Congress have been battling over the merits of a nuclear-related deal with North Korea.

Syrian Ambassador Imad Moustapha yesterday angrily denounced the U.S. and Israeli assertions. "If they show a video, remember that the U.S. went to the U.N. Security Council and displayed evidence and images about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. I hope the American people will not be as gullible this time around," he said.

U.S. officials said that Israel shared the video with the United States before the Sept. 6 bombing, after Bush administration officials expressed skepticism last spring that the facility, visible by satellite since 2001, was a nuclear reactor built with North Korea's assistance. Israel has a nuclear weapons arsenal that it has never declared.

But beginning today, intelligence officials will tell members of the House and Senate intelligence, armed services and foreign relations committees that the Syrian facility was not yet fully operational and that there was no uranium for the reactor and no indication of fuel capability, according to U.S. officials and intelligence sources.

David Albright, president of Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) and a former U.N. weapons inspector, said the absence of such evidence warrants skepticism that the reactor was part of an active weapons program.

"The United States and Israel have not identified any Syrian plutonium separation facilities or nuclear weaponization facilities," he said. "The lack of any such facilities gives little confidence that the reactor is part of an active nuclear weapons program. The apparent lack of fuel, either imported or indigenously produced, also is curious and lowers confidence that Syria has a nuclear weapons program."

U.S. intelligence officials will also tell the lawmakers that Syria is not rebuilding a reactor at the Al Kibar site. "The successful engagement of North Korea in the six-party talks means that it was unlikely to have supplied Syria with such facilities or nuclear materials after the reactor site was destroyed," Albright said. "Indeed, there is little, if any, evidence that cooperation between Syria and North Korea extended beyond the date of the destruction of the reactor."

The timing of the congressional briefing is nonetheless awkward for the Bush administration's diplomatic initiative to persuade North Korea to abandon its nuclear program and permanently disable the reactor at Yongbyon. The CIA's hand was forced, officials said, because influential lawmakers had threatened to cut off funding for the U.S. diplomatic effort unless they received a full account of what the administration knew.

Also, the terms of a tentative U.S.-North Korean deal require that North Korean officials acknowledge U.S. evidence about its help with the Syrian program, and so the disclosures to Congress are meant to preempt what North Korea may eventually say.

Following talks with the South Korean president last weekend, President Bush said that it was premature to make a judgment about whether North Korea was willing to follow through with a commitment to publicly declare its nuclear-related programs, materials and facilities.

Washington and Pyongyang still differ over what should be included in that declaration, a State Department official said. Sung Kim, the State Department director of the Office of Korean Affairs, is in Pyongyang for discussions about the contents.

Syria's top envoy to Washington said the CIA briefings were meant to undermine diplomatic efforts with North Korea, not to confront Syria. Why, Moustapha said, are "they repeating the same lies and fabrications when they were planning to attack Iraq? The reason is simple: It's about North Korea, not Syria. The neoconservative elements are having the upper hand."

He added, "We do not want to plan to acquire nuclear technology as we understand the reality of this world and have seen what the U.S. did to Iraq even when it did not have a nuclear program. So we are not going to give them a pretext to attack Syria."

Before the site was bombed, the facility included a tall, boxy structure like those used to house gas-graphite reactors and was located seven miles north of the desert village of At Tibnah in the Dayr az Zawr region, 90 miles from the Iraqi border, according to photographs released by the ISIS, a nonprofit research group.

The White House and the CIA declined to comment on the briefings.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/23/AR2008042302906_pf.html

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N. Korea linked to Syrian nuclear plant
Video evidence led Israel to strike facility
By Robin Wright
Washington Post / April 24, 2008

WASHINGTON - A video taken inside a secret Syrian facility last summer convinced both the Israeli government and the Bush administration that Pyongyang was helping to construct a reactor similar to one that produces plutonium for North Korea's nuclear arsenal, senior US officials said.

The video, which shows North Koreans working inside the facility, will be shared with members of Congress today.

The officials said the pictures of the remote site, code-named Al Kibar by the Syrians, played a pivotal role in Israel's decision to bomb the facility last Sept. 6. The air strike was publicly denounced by Damascus but not by Washington.

Sources familiar with its contents say the video also shows the design of the Syrian reactor core is the same as the North Korean reactor at Yongbyong, including a virtually identical physical configuration and number of holes for the fuel rods.

It shows "remarkable resemblances inside and out to Yongbyong," said a US intelligence official. A nuclear weapons specialist called the video "very, very damning."

Nuclear weapons analysts and US officials predicted that the planned disclosures to Capitol Hill by CIA director Michael Hayden could complicate US efforts to improve relations with North Korea as a way to halt its nuclear weapons program. They come as factions inside the administration and in Congress have been battling over the merits of a nuclear-related deal with North Korea.

Syrian Ambassador Imad Moustapha yesterday angrily denounced the US and Israeli claims. "If they show a video, remember that the US went to the UN Security Council and displayed evidence and images about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. I hope the American people will not be as gullible this time around," he said.

US officials said Israel shared the video with the United States before the bombing on Sept. 6, after Bush administration officials expressed skepticism last spring that the facility, visible by satellite since 2001, was a nuclear reactor built with North Korea's assistance. Israel has a nuclear weapons arsenal it has never declared.

But intelligence officials will tell members of the House and Senate intelligence, armed services, and foreign relations committees beginning today that the Syrian facility was not yet fully operational and that there was no uranium for the reactor and no indication of a fuel capability, according to US officials and intelligence sources.

David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security and a former UN weapons inspector, said the absence of such evidence warrants skepticism that the reactor was part of an active weapons program.

"The United States and Israel have not identified any Syrian plutonium separation facilities or nuclear weaponization facilities. The lack of any such facilities gives little confidence that the reactor is part of an active nuclear weapons program. The apparent lack of fuel, either imported or indigenously produced, also is curious and lowers confidence that Syria has a nuclear weapons program," Albright said.

US intelligence officials will also tell the congressional committees that the new site Syria has rebuilt at Al Kibar is not for a reactor.

"The successful engagement of North Korea in the Six Party Talks means that it was unlikely to have supplied Syria with such facilities or nuclear materials after the reactor site was destroyed," Albright said. "Indeed, there is little if any evidence that cooperation between Syria and North Korea extended beyond the date of the destruction of the reactor."

The timing of the congressional briefing is nonetheless awkward for the Bush administration's diplomatic initiative to persuade North Korea to abandon its nuclear program and permanently disable the reactor at Yongbyong.

The CIA's hand was forced, officials said, because influential lawmakers had threatened to cut off funds for the US diplomatic effort unless they received a full account of what the administration knew.

Also, the terms of a tentative US-North Korean deal require that North Korean officials acknowledge US evidence about its help to the Syrian program, and so the disclosures to Congress are meant to preempt what North Korea might eventually say.

After talks with the South Korean president over the weekend, Bush said that it was premature to make a judgment about whether North Korea was willing to fully comply with a commitment to make a public declaration of its nuclear-related programs, materials and facilities.

There are still differences between Washington and Pyongyang over what should be included in that declaration, a State Department official said. Sung Kim, the State Department director of the office of Korean affairs, is in Pyongyang for discussions about the contents.

Syria's top envoy to Washington said the CIA briefings were meant to undermine diplomatic efforts with North Korea, not confront Syria. Why, Moustapha said, are "they repeating the same lies and fabrications when they were planning to attack Iraq? The reason is simple: It's about North Korea, not Syria. The neoconservative elements are having the upper hand."

He added, "We do not want to plan to acquire nuclear technology as we understand the reality of this world and have seen what the US did to Iraq even when it did not have a nuclear program. So we are not going to give them a pretext to attack Syria."

The facility at issue formerly included a tall, boxy structure like that used to house a gas-graphite reactor, and was 7 miles north of the desert village of At Tibnah in the Dayr az Zwr region, 90 miles from the Iraqi border, according to photographs that were released by the ISIS, a nonprofit research group.

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Caving in to Pyongyang
The Washington Times Editorial
April 24, 2008

THE WASHINGTON TIMES EDITORIAL - The more details that come out about the Bush administration's approach to negotiations with North Korea, the more disturbing the deal looks. Last week, administration officials indicated that they were backing away from their insistence that North Korea fully admit its nuclear activities. The White House said that its requirements for a full declaration from North Korea about its past actions would no longer include proliferation matters. Since North Korea signed an agreement last year agreeing to come clean about its nuclear activities, the White House had been saying that these would include proliferation — or the transfer of knowledge about uranium enrichment or nuclear materials to other countries. North Korea is suspected of helping Syria build a plutonium-processing facility for nuclear weapons which was destroyed by Israel in a Sept. 6 airstrike.

Dennis Wilder, the senior White House official on East Asia, said April 17 that Washington is handling the North Korea proliferation issue in a "different" (i.e., more conciliatory) way from other requirements that North Korea declare its past nuclear activities. The Bush administration's latest approach to Pyongyang, supported by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill, would enable North Korea to avoid coming clean about its earlier nuclear activities. North Korea will make a formal declaration about its plutonium-based weapons program and then "acknowledge" in a confidential side agreement U.S. statements regarding the communist's regime program to build nuclear weapons using highly enriched uranium and its proliferation activities with Syria.

The Bush administration yesterday said publicly that North Korea was helping Syria build a plutonium-based nuclear reactor, but that Pyongyang has ceased all assistance and promised not to resume providing it. How the United States verifies this in dealing with a totalitarian police state like North Korea is anyone's guess.

But State Department spokesman Sean McCormack claims that the emerging agreement with North Korea does not represent a U.S. concession. For example, he maintains that even if North Korea did not fully account for its uranium enrichment efforts, the agreement would still permit inspectors access to all of Pyongyang's nuclear facilities in order to verify that it had stopped its weapons programs. "We don't know where the facilities are. That's totally untrue," former Undersecretary of State for Arms Control John Bolton told us yesterday when we read him Mr. McCormack's statement. "All it gives us is [access to] Yongbyon," he said, referring to North Korea's main plutonium processing facility.

But North Korea's decision to jettison Yongbyon is not much of a concession because that facility is probably at the end of useful life anyway, Mr. Bolton said. One major flaw of the agreement is that it lacks a mechanism permitting snap inspections of suspected covert facilities. In essence, Washington will be reduced to taking North Korea's word, Mr. Bolton added, likening the Bush administration's North Korean deal to something Jimmy Carter would put together.

Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Florida Republican, has sent a detailed letter to congressional appropriators challenging a panoply of U.S. concessions to North Korea, among them steps to relax economic sanctions against Pyongyang despite the fact that it continues to threaten South Korea and apparently remains engaged in counterfeiting U.S. currency. It's time for more members of Congress to join Mrs. Ros-Lehtinen in doing some serious oversight work regarding the concessions being made to North Korea.

http://washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080424/EDITORIAL/102159602/http&template=printart

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C.I.A. to Detail North Korean Nuclear Aid to Syria
By Mike Nizza
New York Times, April 23, 2008

Some details of the planned closed-door meetings between the C.I.A. and Congress, set for Thursday, have spilled into a string of news reports in the past day, stirring one of the more delicate American diplomatic negotiations with a bracing revelation:

C.I.A. to describe North Korea-Syria nuclear ties

According to a dispatch from Reuters, members of three House and Senate committees will receive briefings centered on a suspected nuclear reactor in Syria that analysts believe was built with North Korean help.

Last September, the site apparently was destroyed in an Israeli raid, though leaders in Washington and Jerusalem remained mum on what exactly was hit by the bombing, and why. While descriptions found their way into news reports over the next few months, official confirmation was not forthcoming.

The briefings are taking place at a crucial time for the international effort to end North Korea’s nuclear program. On Tuesday, a South Korean minister proclaimed that the North’s declaration of its nuclear dealings — the next major step in the process that will remove economic sanctions against the poor country — was almost done. At the same time, an American delegation arrived in Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, to help finalize the statement.

Still, North Korea was not expected to include anything in the declaration about the Syrian reactor, leaving a gap between what American intelligence agencies have ascertained and what North Korea has been willing to acknowledge. That state of affairs has angered conservatives in Congress and hawks within the Bush administration for months, while adding further fuel to their argument that Kim Jong-il, North Korea’s leader, is not to be trusted, especially when it comes to one of the most serious national security issues.

In October, a conservative Congresswoman urged the White House to lift its “veil of secrecy” on the North Korea-Syria connection by briefing a larger group within Congress. Beforehand, a handful of lawmakers were informed of the C.I.A.’s findings.

The meetings on the Hill on Thursday will take place less than a week after a report in The New York Times saying that the White House had decided to avoid derailing the talks by “fudging the issue,” as Helene Cooper put it:

North Korea will “acknowledge” that the United States is concerned about the nuclear proliferation to Syria but will not publicly admit to it. North Korea will also promise not to engage in any more nuclear proliferation, a senior administration official said.

In return, the United States would take North Korea off the list of state sponsors of terrorism and the list of countries noted in the Trading With the Enemy Act.

By supporting the deal, is President Bush backing down? Foreign policy experts cited in the article said that the United States had no better way to coax nuclear weapons from the secretive, unpredictable North Korean regime. But those same characteristics, hard-liners countered, are precisely why any deal with Pyongyang is destined to fail.

As an official told Ms Cooper, “We can’t play ‘trust me’ with plutonium.” And John R. Bolton, a longtime foe of diplomacy with Pyongyang, compared Mr. Bush to former presidents that he regards as weak on national security: Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.

The briefings, an unnamed congressional aide told The Associated Press, would make the case that North Korea’s cooperation with Syria was not a deal-breaker. Additionally, the intelligence findings contain caveats that could cloud the alleged acts of nuclear proliferation.

Then again, Congress may be too busy to work itself into a lather about a deal with North Korea anyway, a critic of the deal told The Los Angeles Times. “You’ll have some outcry,” Gordon Flake, executive director of the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation, said. “But I doubt there are enough people on Capitol Hill even paying attention to oppose it.”

http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/04/23/cia-to-detail-north-korean-nuclear-aid-to-syria/?hp

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U.S. Sees N. Korean Links to Reactor
By DAVID E. SANGER
Published: April 24, 2008
New York Times

WASHINGTON — After seven months of near-total secrecy, the White House is preparing to make public on Thursday video evidence of North Koreans working at a suspected Syrian nuclear reactor just before it was destroyed in an Israeli airstrike last September.

Until now, the administration has refused to discuss the video or the attack, other than in a highly classified briefing for a few allies and crucial members of Congress.

But senior officials in Israel and the United States have said the target was a nascent nuclear reactor that had been under construction for years. Israeli and American analysts had concluded that it was loosely modeled on the reactor North Korea used to obtain the fuel for its small nuclear weapons arsenal.

Israeli jets destroyed the site on Sept. 6, and the Syrians, after issuing some protests, bulldozed the area and constructed a building on the exact footprint of the old one. They have refused to allow international nuclear inspectors to visit the location.

The timing of the administration’s decision to declassify information about the Syrian project has raised widespread suspicions, especially in the State Department, that Vice President Dick Cheney and other administration hawks were hoping that releasing the information might undermine a potential deal with North Korea that would take it off an American list of state sponsors of terrorism.

“Making public the pictures is likely to inflame the North Koreans,” said one senior administration official who would not speak on the record because the White House and the State Department have declared there would be no public comment until the evidence is released. “And that’s just what opponents of this whole arrangement want, because they think the North Koreans will stalk off.”

But another senior official said it was possible that the revelations would force the North Koreans to describe their actions in Syria more fully when they issued a long delayed declaration of their nuclear activities.

That proposed deal, negotiated by Christopher R. Hill, the assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs and the primary interlocutor with North Korea, has become the latest battleground in a seven-year struggle within the Bush administration over North Korea policy.

That policy has veered from efforts to squeeze North Korea in hopes that the government of Kim Jong-il will collapse, to negotiating with the country alongside Russia, China, South Korea and Japan, each of which has pursued a somewhat different approach toward the North.

Mr. Hill was put in charge of the talks more than three years ago in the hope of finding a new way to deal with the North Koreans. But support for him has wavered, and President Bush has repeatedly warned aides not to agree to anything that “makes me look weak,” according to former officials who sat in on meetings with him on North Korea.

Mr. Cheney’s office and other conservatives have argued that Mr. Hill’s proposed deal would amount to a huge concession. In return for a minimal declaration from North Korea — an accounting of how much plutonium it has produced — it would be removed from the terrorism list and would no longer be subject to economic sanctions under the Trading With the Enemy Act.

North Korea has refused to say what, exactly, it provided to the Syrians, or what happened to an effort to start a second pathway to building arms, using uranium.

The deal would allow the North to continue to fudge on those matters, leaving unexplained the question of why it appeared to be buying uranium enrichment equipment from Pakistan. That equipment, many experts believe, was intended to help North Korea build a second path to a bomb, in case it was forced to give up its plutonium program.

In a presentation on Thursday to crucial members of Congress, and then in a presentation to reporters, American intelligence officials are expected to show images from a video, believed to have been obtained through Israeli intelligence services. The video, which Mr. Hill has shown to senior South Korean officials, shows Korean faces among the workers at the Syrian plant.

Other pictures, officials say, show what appears to be the construction of a reactor vessel inside the building that Israel later destroyed. It is unclear what the administration is willing to release. Syria’s ambassador to the United States, Imad Moustapha, did not answer messages left for him on Wednesday.

For weeks after the Israeli attack in September, neither Israeli nor American officials would talk about the attack, Israel’s first on a nuclear site since the 1981 attack on the Osirak nuclear reactor in Iraq.

When The New York Times published a lengthy account of the Syria attack on Oct. 14, revealing that Israeli and American analysts judged that the target was a partly constructed nuclear reactor, Mr. Bush and the White House refused to answer questions about it. Later, officials said they feared that the Syrians would retaliate against Israel if they felt publicly humiliated.

It is not clear what has changed, apart from the politics of the moment. Mr. Hill’s boss, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, has not voiced strong support for Mr. Hill’s effort to coax the North Koreans along, granting them rewards for steps along the way to compliance with a deal that calls, ultimately, for the country to give up its weapons.

Ms. Rice has been a strong critic of the 1994 agreement between North Korea and the Clinton administration, complaining that it was “front loaded” with rewards for the North.

That is exactly what critics say she and Mr. Hill have done in the most recent agreement. But Mr. Hill has argued in private that the Syrian episode and the uranium enrichment are side shows, and that the critical issue is stopping North Korea from producing more plutonium and giving up what it has. But his State Department colleagues say that he has been told not to defend the deal, or even explain it.

“He’s feeling pretty abandoned by Rice and Bush,” one of his colleagues said Wednesday. Mr. Hill did not respond to messages.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/24/world/asia/24korea.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

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U.S. to Link North Korea to Syria
Congress to Be Told
Damascus Got Help
Building a Reactor
By JAY SOLOMON, Wall Street Journal
April 23, 2008; Page A7, WSJ

WASHINGTON -- North Korea was helping Syria build a plutonium-producing nuclear reactor before Israel bombed the site last September, the Bush administration is set to tell Congress.

The new information could increase the position of hard-liners in Congress and the administration who have argued against a deal being negotiated to dismantle North Korea's nuclear-weapons program. The hard-liners say Pyongyang hasn't provided enough assurances it will dismantle its atomic arsenal in return for economic and diplomatic incentives.

Neither Israel nor the U.S. has made public information about the strike in Syria, though speculation has been widespread that the targeted site was a nascent nuclear reactor. Some Republicans have charged that the U.S. is playing down the matter to avoid hurting talks with North Korea.

Nuke Facility

This week, the Central Intelligence Agency is expected to begin briefing members of the Senate and House intelligence committees on the Israeli strike, according to congressional and administration officials. The briefings will be based in part on intelligence provided by the Israeli government, they said.

The CIA is expected to say it believes North Korea was helping Syria develop a plutonium-producing nuclear reactor similar to the Yongbyon facility North Korea built north of Pyongyang, said an official familiar with the deliberations. It also is likely to say North Korean workers were active at the Syrian site at the time of the Israeli attack.

It isn't clear what specific evidence the U.S. officials will present to support their allegations. They are likely to acknowledge uncertainty about whether the alleged Syrian reactor was designed solely to produce nuclear power for peaceful purposes or also to make fissile material for a nuclear weapon, according to the U.S. official.

Syrian officials have denied that they have sought to develop a nuclear capability of any kind and say the Bush administration is hyping the issue as a means to pursue an aggressive policy against both Iran and Syria.

"We have seen in the past that this administration doesn't require evidence, but will use false pretexts" to pursue its agenda, said Ahmed Salkini, a spokesman at the Syrian Embassy in Washington. "We hope the administration doesn't take a miscalculated step that could cause even more chaos in our region."

A spokesman for the White House's National Security Council, Gordon Johndroe, said: "The administration routinely keeps appropriate members of Congress informed of national security and intelligence matters, but I'm going to decline to comment on any specific briefings." A spokesman for the CIA declined to comment.

The Bush administration's national-security team is divided between those who want to pursue negotiations with North Korea and Iran about their nuclear ambitions and those who want to take a harder line.

The hard-liners were dealt a blow in December with the release of a National Intelligence Estimate concluding that Tehran stopped developing nuclear weapons in 2003. The White House has challenged the report, as have some in the intelligence community. By contrast, an airing of the alleged North Korea-Syria ties could put those who favor negotiations on the defensive.

In recent months, Republicans in Congress have been pushing the White House for a wider briefing on the Israeli attack. "Things seem to be coming to a head now" on North Korea, said a Republican staffer on Capitol Hill who has pushed for the release of the intelligence. "There's a sense we need to clear the decks so that we can move forward."

The U.S.-led diplomatic drive to disarm North Korea of its nuclear weapons is at a sensitive stage. U.S. officials estimate that North Korea extracted between 30 kilograms (66 pounds) and 60 kilograms (132 pounds) of plutonium from its now-shut Yongbyon reactor, although some believe the total could be higher. North Korea detonated a nuclear device in 2006.

The Bush administration has five U.S. officials working in North Korea to permanently disable the Yongbyon reactor. The dismantling is part of the first stage of a disarmament agreement the U.S. and North Korea reached last year. Under that stage, Washington and its negotiating partners have shipped heavy fuel oil to the North.

In the second stage, North Korea is supposed to give a thorough accounting of its nuclear activities at home and abroad in exchange for certain U.S. concessions, including removal from Washington's list of terrorism sponsors.

U.S. negotiators have pared initial demands that North Korea declare everything up front, say U.S. officials. State Department negotiators have hoped to persuade North Korea to acknowledge at least in private that it helped Syria's nuclear program and that, separately from the Yongbyon program, it tried to enrich uranium to create fuel for a nuclear weapon.

Hard-liners say the Syrian developments show North Korea can't be trusted. They say it is time to break off negotiations and step up pressure on North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.

North Korea, too, may pull back from talks if its alleged support for Syria receives a public airing in Washington, some U.S. officials and analysts say.

"Who knows how they'll respond?" said a U.S. official working on proliferation activities. "Maybe they'll kick us out of Yongbyon?"

Israel has publicly been silent on the Syria strike, wary of stoking tensions when it is facing threats from the Islamist groups Hezbollah and Hamas.

Still, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's government consented in recent weeks to a wider airing of its intelligence surrounding the Syria strike, say officials involved in deliberations. Israel has long worried about North Korea's military supplies to Iran and Syria.

Conservative pundits in the U.S. have attacked Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill, the State Department's point man on North Korea, for fashioning a potential deal that is too weak. Vice President Dick Cheney's office and members of the nonproliferation bureaus at the Pentagon and State Department are particularly skeptical of the current denuclearization deal.

This week, the State Department dispatched envoy Sung Kim to Pyongyang in a bid to reach an agreement on the list of nuclear assets North Korea will agree to declare and verify as part of the disarmament process. Mr. Kim is focusing on gaining a specific accounting of the plutonium Pyongyang extracted from Yongbyon.

--Siobhan Gorman contributed to this article.

Write to Jay Solomon at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120889732155735901.html

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Plutonium on the Euphrates
April 24, 2008, WSJ

What really happened in the Syrian desert near the Euphrates River on the night of September 6, 2007? The Bush Administration is finally due to answer that question today when it briefs Members of Congress. We've been hearing, and the press is now reporting, that the Administration will confirm that Israel bombed what the U.S. believes was a nascent plutonium-producing nuclear reactor being built with North Korea's assistance.

Everyone who has looked at the incident has suspected as much, despite official refusals to talk about it. But the Administration's acknowledgment of it, even in classified briefings, makes its current stance toward North Korea seem odder than ever.

The State Department has already given up on holding North Korea to its promise to disclose all of its nuclear activities. But now it appears that Foggy Bottom and President Bush are prepared to forgive North Korea for telling what the U.S. now agrees were lies about the North's nuclear proliferation to a Middle Eastern autocrat who is an enemy of America. At the same time, Bush Administration officials are saying that it is good policy to trust Kim Jong Il's declarations on his stockpiles of plutonium.

So: Israel had to risk war with Syria to destroy a nuclear facility built with the help of lying North Koreans. But no worries, the U.S. says it can still trust North Korea to tell the truth about its current programs. This makes us wonder if the unofficial U.S. nonproliferation policy is to have Israel bomb every plutonium facility that the North Koreans decide to sell.

If a Democratic President were pursuing the Bush Administration's North Korean diplomacy, Republicans would hoot him out of town. Mr. Bush should beware of diplomats dangling "legacies" before him. Otherwise, his real legacy on North Korea may be turning nuclear nonproliferation into a global farce.

Wall Street Journal

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120899476604639863.html

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Six-Party Giveaway
April 16, 2008; Page A18, WSJ

Kim Jong Il has done it again. The North Korean dictator rarely makes a promise he doesn't break, and sure enough, that includes his latest nuclear disarmament pledge. He can thank his enablers in Washington for letting him get away with it.

Kim's strategy was entirely predictable on February 13, 2007, when North Korea pledged to give up its nuclear ambitions in exchange for diplomatic recognition and foreign aid. After years of broken promises, missile launches and nuclear tests, there was little reason to think Kim would treat this promise any differently than he had previous ones. At the time, we called it faith-based nonproliferation, and now that's turning out literally to be the case.

After months of demanding that the North live up to its promise to provide a "complete declaration of its nuclear programs" – as specified in the document Pyongyang signed – the U.S. is now backtracking. Last week in Singapore, U.S. negotiator Christopher Hill and his North Korean counterpart reached a compromise that media reports say will take the North's assurances on faith.

Washington appears ready to accept a declaration that refers only to the North's plutonium program. It would exclude any mention of its clandestine uranium enrichment program – which it bragged about in 2002 but now claims never existed. Nor would it explain the North's proliferation of nuclear technology or materials to Syria, Iran or elsewhere.

A Financial Times report quotes an anonymous U.S. official, almost certainly Mr. Hill, as saying a "full admission" isn't necessary. "This is a regime that is incapable of certain things, and it is incapable of doing that." This is diplomacy as psychotherapy. In other words, the U.S. will give a pass to Pyongyang for lying about Syria and uranium while assuming that the North is now telling us the truth about its plutonium stockpile. This turns Ronald Reagan's slogan on its head: Trust but don't verify.

The revised nuclear deal hasn't been formally announced, and President Bush could still nix it. South Korea's new President, Lee Myung-bak, who will be in Washington later this week, has the moral standing to persuade Mr. Bush of the dangers here. Since taking office at the end of February, Mr. Lee has talked tough on the subject of North Korean accountability. Pyongyang has responded by testing short-range missiles that could reach the South and threatening to reduce Seoul to "ashes."

Allowing the North to renege on its pledge to account fully for its nuclear programs is also a slap at Japan, another U.S. ally in range of Pyongyang's missiles. Tokyo has been pushing North Korea for information about the Japanese citizens it abducted in the 1970s and '80s. If Pyongyang doesn't have to account for its nuclear weapons or its uranium program, why would it feel inclined to account for a few Japanese nationals?

In the waning days of the Bush Administration, there seems to be an attitude that any deal with Pyongyang is better than no deal. But a "disarmament" accord that gives the North a pass on proliferation and uranium is more than worthless. In addition to propping up Kim's regime, the Administration is setting a standard for nonproliferation that is so low that it may well allow rogue regimes to keep their weapons while getting credit for giving them up. This is dangerous.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120830499413117657.html

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Bush's North Korea Capitulation
By JOHN R. BOLTON
April 15, 2008; Page A19, WSJ

President George W. Bush is fond of comparing himself to Ronald Reagan. But as he meets with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak in Washington this week, his policy regarding North Korea's nuclear weapons program looks more like something out of Bill Clinton's or Jimmy Carter's playbook.

In dealing with the Soviet Union on arms control, Reagan was famous for repeating the Russian phrase, "Doveryai, no proveryai" (trust, but verify). Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev reportedly once complained to Reagan, "You use that phrase every time we meet." To which Reagan smilingly replied, "That's because I like it so much."

This administration appears to have forgotten that concept altogether. Although the Six-Party Talks have been sliding into dangerous territory for some time, the Bush administration has repeatedly said that North Korea's complete, verifiable disclosure of its nuclear program was a sine qua non of any deal. No longer.

Last week in Singapore, U.S. chief negotiator Christopher Hill and his North Korean counterpart Kim Kye Gwan reached a deal that rests on trust and not verification. According to numerous press reports and Mr. Hill's April 10 congressional briefing, the U.S. will be expected to accept on faith, literally, North Korean assertions that it has not engaged in significant uranium enrichment, and that it has not proliferated nuclear technology or materials to countries like Syria and Iran.

Indeed, the North will not even make the declaration it earlier agreed to, but merely "acknowledge" that we are concerned about reports of such activities – which the United States itself will actually list. By some accounts, the North Korean statement will not even be public. In exchange for this utter nonperformance, the North will be rewarded with political "compensation" (its word): Concurrent with its "declaration," it will be removed from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism and freed from the Trading With the Enemy Act.

President Bush has repeatedly told Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley not to make him look weak on North Korea. If the president accepts the deal now on the table, things will be far worse than that.

Although the U.S. public is not yet fully aware of every detail of this agreement, the administration's public and private comments effectively admit the substance. While briefing Congress, Mr. Hill said he expects the North's release from the long-standing U.S. constraints to be "simultaneous" with its "acknowledgment," which he described as a "win-win" concept.

The generals in Pyongyang must love that assessment. They can also relax, since they won't have to worry about concealing their ongoing nuclear work from any verification follow-up.

Our chief negotiator conceded, without blushing, that North Korea "won't allow snap inspections," which apparently justifies the Bush administration's immediate surrender. Indeed, Mr. Hill derided concerns about the North's enrichment effort by saying, according to an attendee, "Some people imagine there is a building somewhere with a secret door they can open and find a group of scantily clad women enriching uranium."

So much for legitimate concerns about U.S. security and the equally legitimate concerns of our allies. Despite cryptic comments by Secretary of State Rice to the contrary, there is no verification mechanism whatever to explore and monitor the truth of what North Korea will say. We will be taking their word.

Ironically, the only hang-up is that North Korea is still lying about how much plutonium it has accumulated, proffering an amount well below what U.S. intelligence believes to be the case. In short, the Bush administration is focusing on what it thinks it knows (plutonium), ignoring what could be the far more dangerous activities (uranium enrichment) it has reason to suspect.

This is the same mistake as the drunk searching for his car keys near a lamppost, even though he admits to a passerby they are not there. Why keep looking near the lamp post? "Because the light is better," the drunk replies.

One can only imagine what Ronald Reagan would have said in his 1980 campaign, if Jimmy Carter had fallen so low. Similarly, in 1999, former Secretary of State James Baker called Clinton administration policy on North Korea "appeasement," writing in the New York Times: "Once again, we have been played for fools. . . . [I]t is hard to fathom how anyone could put credence in any agreement by North Korea."

Perhaps President Bush could at least read Secretary Baker's Times's op-ed before he signs off on this deal. Even Jack Pritchard, the Bush administration's former chief North Korea negotiator – who resigned five years ago because he believed our policy was too harsh – is critical of the current approach.

Our allies South Korea and Japan will long remember this impending act of American fecklessness. South Korea's President Lee, who was voted into office last December, campaigned extensively on requiring the North to meet its commitments. As he meets with President Bush this week, his countrymen must be wondering why the North's commitments mean something in Seoul but not in Washington.

Japan emphatically wants Pyongyang to account for the Japanese citizens kidnapped over the decades. On April 12, Japan extended its own economic sanctions against the North. Nonetheless, despite the absence of any resolution of these repeated acts of North Korean terrorism, the U.S., until now Japan's closest ally, is poised to remove the North from the terrorism list.

Pyongyang's escape from accountability could break down international counter-proliferation efforts. What possible reason will Iran now have to be transparent about its nuclear activities? If North Korea can get away with deception and be rewarded, why should Iran not do the same? In Libya, Moammar Gadhafi will kick himself for giving up his nuclear weapons program in 2003. This deal with North Korea is troubling enough, but the worst news is still to come.

Last fall, President Bush rejected the idea of giving North Korea a pass on uranium enrichment and proliferation. Now, in the waning days of his term, he seems poised to accept it. If he does, and if this deal proceeds, we can well and truly say: "President Bush, you are no Ronald Reagan."

Mr. Bolton, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, is the author of "Surrender Is Not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations" (Simon & Schuster/Threshold Editions, 2007).

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120821851545814633.html

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Video From the Archives - ABC News Exclusive

Israeli Air Strike Mystery Solved?
Intel suggested Israel bombed nuke reactor with N. Korean design.
10/18/2007

  

 

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Previous Articles on CRNews

Israelis hit Syrian ‘nuclear bomb plant’

New Satellite Surveillance System Was Key Israeli Tool In Syria Raid

WSJ: Israel's Syria Raid Opens Rifts

Additional nuclear sites in Syria?

Yet Another Photo of Site in Syria, Yet More Questions

Alleged Site of Israeli Attack on Syria Cleared

Syria Dissassembling Nuke Site as IAEA Investigates Photos

EXCLUSIVE: The Case for Israel's Strike on Syria

Video Exclusive: Syria Talks & Israel lifts veil of secrecy over air strike in Syria

Assad's "big secret" A Joint Iran-Syrian-DPRK Nuclear Program?

Israel, U.S. Shared Data On Suspected Nuclear Site

Roundup: Syria-N.Korea-Israel Nuclear Material - Sunday Times, Observer, more....

Monday Roundup Syria-N.Korea: Israeli Official Muzzled on Syria Attack

NYTimes: Bush Administration Official - Israel strikes deep into Syria to destroy N.Korean Nukes

Sources tell CNN's Christiane Amanpour Israel launched a military airstrike against Syria

Israeli Overflights Deep into Syria - The Questions Remain!

IsraeliAF Overflies Syria to Test Newly Delivered Russian Pantsyr SAMs?

Mystery Shrouds Israeli Jetfighters' Mission in Syria

 



Last Updated ( Thursday, 24 April 2008 )
 
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