Friday, June 25, 2004

Nice racket II

Nuclear blackmail update:
North Korea wants 2,000 megawatts of power per year -- about one-fourth of its current total consumption -- in exchange for freezing work on its nuclear program, the Kyodo news agency reported, citing diplomatic sources, on the second day of talks in Beijing. In the United States, a megawatt can supply power to about 1,000 homes.

It was unclear whether U.S. officials would discuss such a request since the United States said North Korea must commit to dismantling the program, not just freezing development.

Japan and South Korea said they would consider giving North Korea fuel oil if it freezes its nuclear program as a step toward its eventual dismantling.
Ooh, what a great deal. They freeze their nuclear program - at least the parts of it we know about - until they think they can extract a bigger payment from their neighbors. I realized there are no good military options when it comes to North Korea, but wouldn't a standoff be better than paying tribute? North Korea's neighbors differ on this point, and I'm sure they have reasons; I just can't fathom what they are.

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