When President Bush the Junior first rode into town with his vigilante entourage, North Korea was still a signatory to the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and had made all NPT proscribed materials, facilities and activities subject to International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards.
More importantly, North Korea was adhering as best the IAEA could determine to the US-DPRK Agreed Framework negotiated by President Clinton in 1994.
Why was the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea so adhering?
Well, as you may recall, back in 1950, North Korea had invaded South Korea and President Truman got the (somewhat illegitimate) United Nations Security Council to authorize South Korea and “Member states” allied with South Korea to oust the invaders from the North.
(“Somewhat illegitimate,” because Truman had prevented the Peoples Republic of China from assuming the “permanent member” seat, vacated by Chiang Kai-shek when he fled the Chinese mainland in 1949, and the Soviet Union was, as a consequence, boycotting the Security Council. Technically, then, according to the UN Charter, the absence of the Soviet Union for the vote to oust North Korea was the same as if it had cast a veto.)
The UNSC didnt authorize Truman and his entourage of vigilantes to pursue the invaders once ousted from the South clear through North Korea to the border with the PRC, but Truman did it anyway.
So, “hordes” of Chinese “volunteers” poured across the Yalu River and drove Trumans invading coalition back out of North Korea.
Finally, on July 27, 1953, with the North-South boundary restored, a military armistice was concluded between “the Commander-in-Chief, United Nations Command” and “the Korean Peoples Army and the Commander of the Chinese Peoples volunteers.”
When Clinton negotiated the Agreed Framework with the North Koreans in lieu of launching a pre-emptive attack against their IAEA safeguarded facilities, as Congressional warhawks were demanding the armistice had been in effect for more than forty years!
Under the Agreed Framework inter alia
“II. The two sides will move toward full normalization of political and economic relations.
“1) Within three months of the date of this Document, both sides will reduce barriers to trade and investment, including restrictions on telecommunications services and financial transactions.
“2) Each side will open a liaison office in the others capital following resolution of consular and other technical issues through expert level discussions.
“3) As progress is made on issues of concern to each side, the U.S. and the DPRK will upgrade bilateral relations to the Ambassadorial level.
“III. Both sides will work together for peace and security on a nuclear [weapons] free Korean peninsula.
“1) The U.S. will provide formal assurances to the DPRK, against the threat or use of nuclear weapons by the U.S.
“2) The DPRK will consistently take steps to implement the North-South Joint Declaration on the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
“3) The DPRK will engage in North-South dialogue, as this Agreed Framework will help create an atmosphere that promotes such dialogue.
“IV. Both sides will work together to strengthen the international nuclear non proliferation regime.
“1) The DPRK will remain a party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and will allow implementation of its safeguards agreement under the Treaty.”
It is perhaps worth noting at this point that the PRC was not a party to either the Korean War Armistice Agreement or the Agreed Framework.
Congressional warhawks had kittens when they learned what Clinton had done.
And, upon becoming president, Bush the Junior almost immediately repudiated Clintons efforts to implement the Agreed Framework, telling South Koreas president and North Korean emissaries he had no intentions of normalizing relations with North Korea.
In October, 2002, after having gotten Congress to give him a blank check to launch a pre-emptive war against Iraq, Bush the Junior unilaterally abrogated the Agreed Framework, charging that North Korea had a secret enriched-uranium nuke program.
No longer subject to the Agreed Framework, North Korea announced on the eve of Bushs war of aggression against Iraq that it was withdrawing from the NPT, restarting its “frozen” plutonium-producing reactor and its plutonium-recovery facility and according to CIA estimates now has a dozen or so plutonium implosion-type nukes.
As you can imagine, what Bush the Junior has wrought on the Korean Peninsula bothers North Koreas neighbors especially Russia and China more than somewhat.
Hence, the Six-Party [China, Russia, Japan, DPRK, South Korea and its occupier these past 50-years, the United States] talks were able to issue a Joint Statement on September 19, 2005, according to which
“The DPRK committed to abandoning all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs and returning, at an early date, to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and to IAEA safeguards.”
“The DPRK and the United States undertook to respect each other’s sovereignty, exist peacefully together, and take steps to normalize their relations subject to their respective bilateral policies.”
Of course, Junior and his UN stooge (Bonkers Bolton) immediately began to respect North Koreas sovereignty and to take steps to normalize relations with the “Hermit Kingdom,” right?
Among other actions, Juniors Treasury Department proceeded to blacklist Macaus Banco Delta Asia accusing it of providing “a tolerant environment for illicit North Korean activities” which resulted in a run on the bank and the bank freezing all accounts linked to North Koreans.
So, the North Koreans (at least semi-successfully) tested a few long-range ballistic missiles.
Why not? The Agreed Framework and the Six-Party Statement were all about nukes, not ballistic missiles.
Then, four years after Bush the Junior unilaterally abrogated the Agreed Framework, North Korea conducted an at least semi-successful test of a plutonium implosion nuke device.
The Third Round of the Fifth Six-Party talks on implementing that Joint Statement have just concluded in Beijing, wherein China and Russia got Junior to agree that
“The DPRK and the U.S. will start bilateral talks aimed at resolving bilateral issues and moving toward full diplomatic relations.”
“The U.S. will begin the process of removing the designation of the DPRK as a state sponsor of terrorism, and advance the process of terminating the application of the Trading with the Enemy Act with respect with the DPRK.”
The US reportedly agreed to try to undo the damage done in Macau.
And Bonkers Bolton is reportedly writing a book.