Jimmy Carter delivers a NY Times op-ed recounting the history of the North Korean nuclear program and blaming everything on Bush. Here is the report from our correspondent on Planet Jimmah:
Responding to an invitation from President Kim Il-sung of North Korea, and with the approval of President Bill Clinton, I went to Pyongyang and negotiated an agreement under which North Korea would cease its nuclear program at Yongbyon and permit inspectors from the atomic agency to return to the site to assure that the spent fuel was not reprocessed. It was also agreed that direct talks would be held between the two Koreas.
The spent fuel (estimated to be adequate for a half-dozen bombs) continued to be monitored, and extensive bilateral discussions were held. The United States assured the North Koreans that there would be no military threat to them, that it would supply fuel oil to replace the lost nuclear power and that it would help build two modern atomic power plants, with their fuel rods and operation to be monitored by international inspectors. The summit talks resulted in South Korean President Kim Dae-jung earning the 2000 Nobel Peace Prize for his successful efforts to ease tensions on the peninsula.
But beginning in 2002, the United States branded North Korea as part of an axis of evil, threatened military action, ended the shipments of fuel oil and the construction of nuclear power plants and refused to consider further bilateral talks. In their discussions with me at this time, North Korean spokesmen seemed convinced that the American positions posed a serious danger to their country and to its political regime.
Responding in its ill-advised but predictable way, Pyongyang withdrew from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, expelled atomic energy agency inspectors, resumed processing fuel rods and began developing nuclear explosive devices.
Yet by uncanny coincidence the NY Times presents this history in a different story:
Under an agreement Mr. Clinton struck with North Korea in 1994, the North agreed to “freeze” its production of plutonium at its main nuclear plant at Yongbyon, in return for energy aid. North Korea abided by the freeze.
But starting around 1997, the North Koreans took steps to start a second, secret nuclear program, one based on enriching uranium. South Korean and American intelligence agencies did not find conclusive evidence of that program until the summer of 2002, and that fall the Bush administration confronted the North Koreans with its evidence.
I wonder if anyone has mentioned to Mr. Peanut that the agreement of which he was so proud went almost immediately into the NoKo shredder.
Lots more at QandO.