When George W. Bush became president, as best
the on-site monitors of the International Atomic Energy Agency could determine,
the North Koreans were in total compliance with The
Agreed Framework Between the United States of America and the Democratic People’s
Republic of Korea [.pdf].
In 1992, at the insistence of the Russians, the DPRK had begun negotiations
with the IAEA on a Safeguards Agreement, as required of them by the Treaty
on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, but soon got into a dispute
with the IAEA as to whether they were accurately characterizing the NPT proscribed
materials they were declaring.
The IAEA asked to do chemical assays
and the Koreans refused.
IAEA Director-General Hans Blix brought the dispute to the IAEA Board of Governors
who, in turn, reported it to the UN Security Council for possible action, as
the IAEA Statute requires.
The DPRK immediately gave notice (as the NPT provides for) of its intention
to withdraw from the NPT.
Well, that would never do.
President Clinton was hell-bent on getting every country to not only become
an NPT signatory but to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
So in 1994, after lengthy negotiations, President Clinton persuaded North Korea
to sign the Agreed Framework, under which North Korea agreed (a) to remain a
signatory to the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, (b) to shut
down its 5 MW Plutonium-239 producing reactor, (c) to shut down its spent-fuel
Plutonium-239 recovery facilities, (d) to abandon construction of its 50 MW
and 200 MW Plutonium-239 producing reactors, and (e) to place all its existing
nuclear materials – including the Plutonium-239 contained in spent fuel elements
– under lock and seal of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
But, according to a January 20, 2003 article
by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker
magazine, in January of 2002,
"John Bolton, the Under-Secretary of State for Arms Control, declared
that North Korea had a covert nuclear-weapons program and was in violation
of the nonproliferation treaty.
"In February, the President was urged by three members of Congress
to withhold support for the two reactors promised to North Korea, on the ground
that the Pyongyang government was said to be operating a secret processing site
'for the enrichment of uranium.'
"In May, Bolton again accused North Korea of failing to cooperate with
the International Atomic Energy Agency, the group responsible for monitoring
Hersh further reported that in June, 2002, Director of Central Intelligence
George Tenet delivered to President Bush a highly classified National Intelligence
Estimate, containing "Sensitive Compartmented Information" which "assessed"
that – surprise, surprise – North Korea had been violating both the NPT and
the Agreed Framework.
The NIE alleged that Koreans had been attempting for several years – with Pakistani
assistance – to acquire a Uranium-235 nuke production capability.
"In 1997, according to the C.I.A. report, Pakistan began paying for
missile systems from North Korea in part by sharing its nuclear-weapons
"According to the report, Pakistan sent prototypes of high-speed centrifuge
machines to North Korea. And sometime in 2001 North Korean scientists began
to enrich uranium in significant quantities.
"Pakistan also provided data on how to build and test a uranium-triggered
nuclear weapon, the C.I.A. report said.
"Pakistan helped North Korea conduct a series of "cold tests," simulated
nuclear explosions, using natural uranium, which are necessary to determine
whether a nuclear device will detonate properly.
So, what did Bush do with this "Special Compartmented Information"?
Nothing, unless you count a Bolton munchkin not being fired after confronting
a DPRK mid-level weenie with it at a cocktail party in September.
Bolton’s munchkin reported back that the DPRK weenie "admitted" that
they did, indeed, have a secret Uranium-235 nuke weapon program.
When this "admission" was leaked to – and published by – neocrazy
media sycophants, the DPRK immediately officially denied it. And continue to
So did the Pakistanis, although in his recently published autobiography
Pakistani General-President-Dictator Pervez Musharraf did acknowledge that
"Dr. A.Q. Khan transferred nearly two dozen P-I and P-II centrifuges
to North Korea. He also provided North Korea with a flow meter, some special
oils for centrifuges and coaching on centrifuge technology, including visits
to top-secret centrifuge plants." (p. 294).
Now, neither the acceptance of Pakistani centrifuges nor visits to Pakistani
centrifuge plants were violations of the NPT nor the Agreed Framework.
In fact, as of this writing, there is no evidence whatsoever that the North
Koreans violated the Agreed Framework – which Bush unilaterally abrogated in
November, 2002 – or the NPT, from which North Korea withdrew in January 2003
as a direct result of Bush’s abrogation.
Nevertheless, Neocrazy Media Sycophant David Sanger reported on the back pages
of the New York Times the test of the DPRK Plutonium-239 nuke
"The intelligence agencies’ finding that the weapon was based on plutonium
strongly suggested that the country’s second path to a nuclear bomb – one using
uranium – was not yet ready. The uranium program is based on enrichment equipment
and know-how purchased from Pakistan’s former nuclear chief.
What it ought to strongly suggest is that Bolton and the 2002 SCI NIE
on North Korea’s Uranium-235 program were both wrong. The most probable
reason for the IAEA and our intelligence agencies being unable to find any evidence
of North Korea’s Uranium-235 nuke program is that it doesn’t exist.
Now, bear in the mind that the principal benefit North Korea sought – and got
– under the Agreed Framework was the promise that an American president would
never attack or threaten to attack them with nuclear weapons.
And recall that Bush unilaterally abrogated the Agreed Framework.
Now read this totally outrageous assertion by Neocrazy Media Sycophant Sanger;
"Unlike the Clinton administration in 1994, the current Bush administration
chose not to threaten to destroy North Korea’s fuel and nuclear reprocessing
facilities if they tried to make weapons."