North Korea Agrees To US Lead On Nuke Program

Kim Jong-Il has agreed to give a “complete and correct” declaration of all its nuclear programs and will allow the US to take the lead on disabling its Yongbyon reactor. The announcement, announced by representatives of North Korea and China, comes within the six-party framework and adheres to the February 13th agreement. It takes the process much closer to completion, but another issue remains open:

North Korea agreed to provide a “complete and correct declaration” of its nuclear programs and will disable its facilities at its main reactor complex by Dec. 31 under an agreement reached by North Korea and five other countries released Wednesday.
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei said as part of the agreement, the U.S. will take the lead in seeing that the facilities are disabled and will fund those initial activities. …
North Korea is required to disable its sole functioning reactor at Yongbyon in exchange for economic aid and political concessions under a February deal reached through the six-party talks. In July, the North closed Yongbyon, as well as other facilities, ahead of their disablement.
Once there is a six-party agreement, Hill said on Tuesday in New York, the U.S. expects the process of disabling the reactor to get under way “in a matter of weeks.” The U.S. wants the dismantling process so thorough that a nuclear facility could not be made operational for at least 12 months.

The deal represents a breakthrough in talks, which have picked up speed in recent weeks. Last month, a meeting between US and DPRK officials resulted in a verbal agreement that Pyongyang would allow Yongbyon to be scuttled in exchange for badly-needed energy and economic aid. The US insisted in working out the details in the six party framework, and the multilateral team hammered out the agreement in detail last week.
American funding for the shutdown presents little problem for the Bush administration. They would gladly pay to shut down Yongbyon and other facilities, unnamed in this report. Had the talks not succeeded, the US might have spent much more money attempting to shut them down clandestinely. A few million dollars to ensure security is a small price to pay, and besides, we can then ensure that the facilities really cannot be reused for a very long time.
One issue remains. The US wants to get the fissile material back from the DPRK, and negotiators expect a tougher time on this point. Analysts estimate that Kim has at least 110 pounds of nuclear material, as well as some nuclear weapons. It’s critical for our security that we ensure no one else gets their hands on any of it — a point driven home by the reported DPRK-Syrian facility that Israel bombed last month. Most critically, they want to make sure none of it is missing, and if it is, who wound up with it.
The DPRK Army may not be forthcoming on this issue. The US and other four nations plan on moving forward with the scuttling of Yonbgyon and other facilities, but they’re holding off on the majority of economic assistance and diplomatic improvement until 2008, when the talks will address this in earnest. If Kim won’t cough up the goods, we may still have a standoff.

11 thoughts on “North Korea Agrees To US Lead On Nuke Program”

  1. Libya gives up it’s nuclear/WMD progaram.
    Saddam taken out of power and over 25 million
    Iraq’s work toward building a free society with
    the help of America.
    Taliban taken out of power and over 25 million
    Afghan’s work toward building a free society with
    the help of America.
    America fights back against Al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations and the countries that support them.Results in no attacks on our homeland
    since 9/11.
    America still maintains one of the strongest economies with record low unemployment while taking on the lions share of the War on Terror.
    North Korea now shutting down their nuclear facilities with checks and balances installed to prevent the “hand shake and wink” failed policies
    of the Clinton administration.
    yea right,Bush,the worst president ever.
    Liberals,the biggest flock of blind sheep ever
    assembled on Earth.

  2. But even if Kim will “cough up the goods”, how can we be sure that he has coughed up all of the goods? What reason is there to believe that this regime will honor this agreement any more than they honored the one they reached with Clinton?

  3. Baxter, I’m afraid your rosy review of the Bush administration’s “war on terror” is not supported by the facts. Let’s review where we stand.
    A stabilized Iraq — assuming we can achieve such a thing — is not going to mean the end of Islamic terrorism. It should be clear now that a stabilized Iraq is not going to inspire a wave of reform that transforms the middle east into free societies that eschew militant Islam and oppose terrorism. If anything, elections in Lebanon, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt and even in Iraq have shown that voters select the most militant Islamists out of the available candidates. With the lone exception of the Kurds in northern Iraq, no Muslim population has shown any desire for political freedom. The strategy of “spreading democracy” has failed.
    Al-Qaeda is still be in business. Iran is still be seeking nuclear weapons, they will undoubtedly continue trying to bring a nascent Iraqi government under their wing, and they’ll go on supplying their various proxies in Lebanon and the PLA with ever more deadly weapons. Saudi Arabia will go on funding salafist-infested madrassas to train the next generation of jihadists. Muslims will continue to hatch terrorist plots in the west and chances are, eventually, they will succeed and there will be another Madrid, another London tube bombing or something similar.
    So my question to the war supporters is simply this: if we do stabilize Iraq, what then?
    Nor is there any reason to believe that our leaving Iraq will do anything to slow down the international jihad. There are those who claim that once we leave, rather than collapsing into all-out civil war, the Iraqis will get together and deal with al-Qaeda in their own way — but even if that happens, even if they eject al-Qaeda, that by itself won’t stop al-Qaeda, Iran, Saudi Arabia, or any of the problems mentioned above.
    So if we leave Iraq, what then?
    The hard-core anti-war left has spooked the leaders of the Democratic party into opposing virtually any possibility of additional military action. For a while, there were Democrats who wanted us to re-deploy our troops to “the good war” in Afghanistan. When it was pointed out that this would do little good since al-Qaeda and the Taliban are now in Pakistan, one Democrat, Barack Obama, had the temerity to propose that if the Pakistani government wouldn’t go after them, we should. Obama was promptly shouted down by both the members of his own party and the supporters of the war in Iraq!!
    How dare he suggest we invade an ally!! — This was the near-universal response to Obama‘s proposal, which is a confession that both sides in America have decided that it is acceptable for an “ally” to give refuge to our deadliest enemies.
    Of course, the left also proposes things like “regional conferences” and “talking to our enemies“.
    Barack Obama has proposed a conference with Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq and Egypt to “win agreement on stabilizing the middle east” — He‘s released no details on how he plans to heal the 1400 year old Shia-Sunni “disagreement“.
    In a recent speech, John Edwards proposed — and I quote his words here — “a new multilateral organization called the Counterterrorism and Intelligence Treaty Organization (CITO). CITO will create a coalition of partner nations who clearly declare that terrorism is unacceptable and will call out those nations who refuse to join this cause.” — No word on how this new organization will get France, Germany, China and Russia to take actions they are presently refusing to take at the UN.
    Hillary Clinton’s website has plans for “ending the war in Iraq” — but no plans for winning the war against Islamic terrorism.
    In short, the left is engaging in the fantasy that we can win by making things work that have failed many times in the past (negotiations, conferences, international organizations) or they are engaging in the fantasy that we need not do anything — except get out of Iraq and humiliate Bush. The right is engaging in the fantasy that we can win by using our military forces as domestic policemen in two minor countries while leaving untouched both the major sponsors of Islamic terrorism — Iran and Saudi Arabia — and while permitting those we call “allies” to give refuge to the most barbaric killers on earth.
    None of these approaches has the slightest chance of stopping the Islamist’s international jihad against civilization. I don’t expect anything better out of the left, but the right knows better. You’ve just gotten so caught up in defending Bush that you’ve lost sight of the big picture.

  4. RE: Michael Smith (October 3, 2007 7:22 AM)
    “What reason is there to believe that this regime will honor this agreement any more than they honored the one they reached with Clinton?”
    None, really, except that maybe they’ll believe Bush if he says that we might take more proactive measures to stop their proliferation. Progress has been made through the insistence of multi-party talks, so Bush policy deserves full credit; however, your question is highly pertinent. At this point, I’m certain that all in the administration (and anyone with a functional cortex) are aware of Kim’s past transgressions and will be recalling the Reagan policy of “trust but verify.”

  5. Micheal,
    So taking out some of the worst terrorist regimes
    and working toward free societies is no progress.
    According to you,nothing we do is going to work.
    Bush never stated that the middle east would resemble the west or that the War on Terror would be over with the building up of Afghanistan and Iraq toward free societies.
    If people like you would actually listen instead of condemning every move that is made from the sideline,you would know that this is the beginning
    of fighting back against radical Islam that has
    been allowed to grow for decades.Bush has said over and over and over that this is a long war on
    many fronts.
    I know liberals get most of their policy advice
    from hollywood,but this is not a movie,the War on
    terror is going to take military action,negotiations,and the commitment to help
    these countries build up their social and physical
    structures with a free and democratic process.
    People like you cry about Bush being a “cowboy”and not working with other countries to combat these problems then complain when he does start trying to build allies like Saudi Arabia
    and Pakistan.
    Would you prefer we bomb everybody that has had
    a hand in terrorism?
    That we try to fight back against the jihad without trying to build any alliance’s with muslim
    Obama has repeatedly stated that our Soldiers are broken,the war in Iraq is lost,and that we should run, turning over one of the most oil rich
    nations over to Al-Qaeda and Iran.
    But somehow we have the ability to invade a nation that has nuclear weapons(Obama has taken any action by the US with nuclear weapons off the
    table),over 35 million man army, and some of the worst terrain to fight in all of the world.
    Let me get this straight,we are to broken to add
    security to Baghdad but we can take on Pakistan.
    Besides,Pakistan did not attack us.
    This is one of the main points liberals make when
    condemning Bush’s “immoral” war in Iraq.
    If we invade and Osama pops up in Iran,
    will you be yelling for Obama to be “impeached for
    war crimes”?
    Will it be “Obama lied us into this war”?
    It is not about letting a nation give refuge to
    our enemies,it is about taking on our enemies in a
    way that best allows America and the rest of the free world to come out with victory.
    Bush has used military action,diplomacy,and
    measures such as the Patriot act to combat the
    terrorist threat.
    Arm chair Generals like you have done nothing
    but whine and complain without offering any
    real alternatives except Surrender and
    That worked out so well in the 90’s didn’t it.
    Unless you are advocating nuclear war with
    Pakistan and other muslim nations that have
    terrorist residing in their borders,than
    bringing up why we haven’t attacked them yet is
    just another empty argument from somebody with
    no real solutions.
    We can’t be the world’s policeman,right.
    Bush is already called an imperialistic
    warmonger for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
    that was voted on and agreed upon by democrats
    and Republicans.
    If Bush were to call for military action in
    Pakistan,Saudi Arabia,or Iran,hollywood’s head
    would explode resulting in half of the democrats
    money machine and their foreign/domestic policy
    advisors would cut them off at the knees.
    My post about the accomplishments of the Bush
    administration was not a defense,it was a
    statement of fact.
    It may not be popular and great for the polls
    when a leader has to make hard decisions to do
    what is best for the country,but it certainly
    exposes the so called “progressive” crowd for
    the political and ignorant hacks that they are
    when these accomplishments are made and Bush is
    said to be “the worst president ever”.

  6. Baxter, here is a link to a brief essay that describes what I think we should do:
    Unfortunately, the net effect of Bush’s use of the military in Afghanistan and Iraq has been to thoroughly discredit the idea of using military force to defeat states that sponser terrorism. So we are doomed to suffer at least another horrific attack on America before our people are willing to consider the strategy outlined in that essay.

  7. Great Ghu, Michael. That was intense.
    Still digesting it, but my initial impression is that, contrary to the author’s statement, the strategy outlined is very much a Platonic Ideal. Right or wrong (and your mileage may vary widely on that score) it simply is not going to happen (except possibly over the smoke of a gigantic glowing glass ashtray at the heart of some American city…and even then there is room for doubt). It is growing ever more clear that the age of Total War is past.
    Assuming that this is so, the question becomes: what can be done?
    In brief (more out of laziness at the moment than out of lack of thought on the matter, I confess), the central tenets of Islamic Totalitarianism must be eroded as a river does a bridge pylon, rather than as a tsunami does a coastal community.
    One crucial campaign within that strategy is the establishment of a thriving, mercantile republic in Iraq, where religion is part of the cultural character and not the political process. There are many reasons why this is so, which I needn’t elaborate to readers of this blog. However, the central one in this context is that it establishes a credible alternative to Islamist Statism as an emerging reality, a fait accompli (pardon my French) which inspires the hopeful and progressively emasculates the would-be Jihadi subjugators.
    While the value of Afghanistan –beyond its role as erstwhile host and sponsor of al Qaeda — is legitimately debatable, I strongly disagree with your characterisation of Iraq as one of “two minor countries.” It is central (in every sense), and stands to become embarrassingly wealthy if an open and diversified economy evolves over a gargantuan sea of petroleum (an altogether unprecedented event in the Middle East). Nothing succeeds like success, and when the day comes that young Muslims are drawn from the madrassas of Saudi Arabia to the engineering department of a University of Iraq, Ramadi campus, then the notion that designing, building, and selling planes sure beats flying them into buildings is apt to take hold.
    In this way, the defeat of Islamic Totalitarianism will more resemble the defeat of Soviet Communism than that of Shinto Imperialism.
    Again, I can understand the frustration with the sort of casuistry and pragmatism which the essay condemns. A Total War model would all kinds of cathartically kinetic and altogether unequivocal in its aims and in its benchmarks toward success (and, it should be noted, toward failure. While the Muslim world hasn’t five prayers against our military, I am by no means convinced that other notable militaries –think Moscow and Beijing–would not get in on the act…). The way we are taking will take much longer, and will be fraught with arduous and ambiguous periods (like, say, pretty much all of 2006). But at its core, I think you would agree that this is at least as much a war of memes as of ordnance. I think you would also agree that our memes are simply more adaptable and thus have higher survivability than theirs.
    So, scary and frustrating as it is, it is pretty clear that we are simply going to have to give those memes a chance to duke it out in the world ecosystem. Michael, I respect your passion and your patriotism, agree with you on more than you might think, and appreciate the very thought-provoking link. However, I submit that calling for a Total War which is just not going to occur, while assuming the futility of all strategies shy of it, is more a recipe for excessive stomach acid than it is one for victory.

  8. Sherman’s march to the sea is always an evolutionary tale. It never happens at the beginning. Most always near the end.
    We are, sadly, a long way from the end. But make no mistake that the Jacksonian tradition will out in the end if we are to be successful.

  9. Non-unilateralism gets somewhere with North Korea?

    This seems to be getting little mention in the blogosphere (aside from a really short post from Kevin Drum):
    North Korea has agreed to disable all of its nuclear facilities by the end of the year, in a move that the Bush administration hailed as a d…

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