Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Nice racket

Well, what do you know, nuclear blackmail might just work after all. Even if we're not willing to buy off North Korea, apparently everyone else is:
Under the plan, South Korea and possibly other countries could begin providing heavy fuel oil to the North's battered economy immediately if the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Il, promises to dismantle the country's plutonium and uranium arms programs, U.S. officials said.
Once North Korea began to display and secure its materials and weapons -- and its claims have been verified by U.S. intelligence -- the United States and the other nations at the negotiations would issue provisional security assurances.
North Korea would be given only three months to halt and disclose all of its nuclear activities, including a secret uranium enrichment program that it says does not exist, and to begin securing and destroying nuclear materials under the supervision of international monitors, the officials said. Otherwise, these preliminary benefits would be halted.
Why are we going along with this? The NYT explains:
Mr. Bush's critics say he waited far too long to make his offer; Mr. Kerry argues it should have happened early in 2001, and others say right after the American invasion of Iraq. Hawks inside the administration believe it is still too early.

But China, Russia, South Korea and Japan said they were willing to provide North Korea with fuel oil, which the United States cut off a year and a half ago, forcing Mr. Bush's hand.
You all can probably guess what I think of this. What if North Korea doesn't meet the three-month deadline? This situation has occurred before in the 90s. Back then North Korea's neighbors were willing to give her another chance. I expect they will again.

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