North Korea's Nuclear Shakedown: North Korea Agrees to Dismantle Its Nuclear Program in Exchange for Massive Foreign Aid, Proving That Bad Behavior Is the Ticket to U.S. Taxpayer Dollars

Article excerpt

In his 2002 State of the Union Address, President Bush warned of the dangers presented by an "axis of evil." He identified three regimes: Iran, Iraq, and North Korea. Of the latter the president warned: "North Korea is a regime arming with missiles and weapons of mass destruction, while starving its citizens." And the State Department, while noting that the communist regime of Kim Jong-Il "is not known to have sponsored any terrorist acts since the bombing of a Korean Airlines flight in 1987," has nevertheless continued to list North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism.

That presumably means we should not accommodate the North Korea regime--nor should anyone else--according to a policy articulated by President Bush himself in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. "Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists," President Bush said to applause in his address to a joint session of Congress on September 20, 2001. "From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime." Now, in the case of North Korea, it is the United States itself, under George W. Bush, that is agreeing to reward a terrorist regime in exchange for more empty promises.

Bad Deal With a Terror State

North Korea remains the most fervently Stalinist outpost of the once far-flung communist empire. According to the State Department, it is "thought to earn hundreds of millions of dollars from the unreported sale of missiles, narcotics and counterfeit cigarettes, and other illicit activities." It also maintains what the State Department calls "the world's second-largest special operations force," intended for covert operations abroad, and is implicated in numerous kidnappings of foreign citizens.

Despite North Korea's almost unsurpassed record of tyranny, during six-party negotiations held in Beijing from February 8 to 13, the United States along with Russia, China, and South Korea hammered out an agreement under which the North Koreans would abandon their quest for nuclear weapons. According to Fox News, "the agreement ... commits North Korea to suspend immediately and eventually disable its entire nuclear program in exchange for about one million tons of heating fuel oil and other aid." In addition, the United States has agreed to "begin the process" of removing the North Koreans from the list of state sponsors of terrorism.

As in the previous bargain struck with North Korea by the Clinton administration, the new agreement does nothing more than reward the repressive communist regime for its bad behavior. It is the equivalent, on the international level, of a parent bribing a spoiled, crying child into giving up his temper tantrum in exchange for a piece of candy. And it sends a message to other rogue regimes that the United States can be intimidated into supplying millions in foreign aid.

In October 1994, the Clinton administration struck a deal with Pyongyang agreeing to provide the communist nation with aid in building a peaceful nuclear energy program and to provide 13.5 million gallons of "replacement" fuel oil. In exchange according to the Arms Control Association, the agreement called "upon Pyongyang to freeze operation and construction of nuclear reactors suspected of being part of a covert nuclear weapons program" and committed both sides to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. That deal worked so well that North Korea tested what appeared to be a low-yield tactical nuclear weapon in early October of last year. …