Sunday, May 31, 2009

North Korea Runs Amuck

In 1994, under the Clinton Administration, North Korea developed a plutonium producing reactor. The international community was obviously alarmed and the US entered into an agreement with North Korea whereby the US would buy them off with food, energy, and money to stop them from continuing production at this facility and to dismantle the technology. It was later revealed that a Pakistani metallurgist was selling uranium enrichment technology to North Korea in 1991 and then again from 1997-2000. Obviously sufficient checks were not put in place to monitor North Korea and ensure that they were upholding the agreement.

In 2002, it was discovered that Kim Jong-Il was once again seeking a nuclear program, violating the previous accord struck in 1994. North Korea began to make statements that they either currently had or had the right to have the technology that would allow them to create nuclear weapons while nearly simultaneously beginning the process of ejecting international weapons inspectors which signaled the need for another round of negotiations. In order to cease production, North Korea again demanded more money, food, and energy from the US but also wanted the US to enter into a non-aggression treaty that would basically prevent the US from taking aggressive action should North Korea violate yet another treaty.

The US and the Bush Administration refused to buy off Kim a second time and refused to sign a treaty that would prevent them from aggressive action should Kim begin developing nuclear weapons again. Bush played a waiting game with North Korea and it appeared to pay off…North Korea returned to six-party talking in 2006 where they again pledged to cease production.

In April, North Korea tested a launch of what they tried to sell to the international community as a satellite test. More likely, this was a long range missile test. The

John Bolton, former Ambassador to the UN under the Bush Administration, wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal last week warning America that Kim Jong-Il, the despotic wackjob that currently rules North Korea, was likely going to test another missile.

Bolton, unfortunately was correct.

North Korea tested a nuclear device with approximately the same yield as the US dropped on Japan in WW II. This caused an earthquake that registered a 4.7. On the same day, North Korea also conducted three short range surface-to-air missile tests. On the next day, North Korea conducted two more short range missile tests and one ground-to-ship missile test. This was the same day the UN began to work on a resolution to punish North Korea. On the following day, North Korea again five more missile tests were conducted. North Korea has also notified shipping vessels that they cannot guarantee their safety while they are testing missiles. These efforts seem to be to discourage surveillance.

In October of 2008, just prior to the Election, Vice-President Biden warned that should he and Obama be elected to the White House, within six months our enemies would test us. He went on to say that we would need to stand with Obama because it would appear as though he was not making the right decision. Hopefully, Scrappy Joe from Scranton’s prognostications will not prove as accurate as John Bolton’s.

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