How Bush Pushed North Korea to Nukes

Back in October of 2007, after two years of negotiations, China, Russia, Japan, the two Koreas and the United States reached agreement on "Second-Phase Actions" for the Implementation of the Six-Party Joint Agreement of September 15, 2005. The neo-crazies (and human-rights activist fellow-travelers) opposed those negotiations from the git-go and they’re still at, vowing to defeat the nomination of Christopher Hill – who was the principal Bush-Cheney-Rice negotiator at the Six-Party talks – to be Obama’s Ambassador to Iraq.

According to Senator Sam Brownback, Hill’s "unfortunate legacy" with respect to the Six-Party talks includes "broken commitments to Congress, free-lancing diplomacy, disregarding human rights, and giving up key leverage to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in exchange for insubstantial gestures."

Brownback claims Hill’s actions "have harmed our national security and ignored our moral obligations" as expressed in the North Korean Human Rights Act of 2004.

Hill’s actions have harmed our national security?

What about Bush-Cheney-Bolton’s?

What Hill had been attempting to do was ameliorate the significant damage done to our national security by the Bush-Cheney-Bolton unilateral abrogation of the Agreed Framework of 1994.

President Clinton had got North Korea to put on hold its threatened withdrawal from the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and to "freeze" operations of – and "eventually dismantle," subject to oversight by the International Atomic Energy Agency – all its nuclear "reactors and related facilities."


How to launch wars of aggression against Iraq, Iran, Syria and North Korea when all were then certified by the IAEA to be in full compliance with their NPT-IAEA Safeguards Agreements?

Well, according to a New Yorker column by Seymour Hersh, a few months before producing in the summer of 2002 the now infamous National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq’s alleged nuclear-weapons programs – being carried out right under the noses of IAEA inspectors – "Slam-Dunk" Tenet had also produced a highly classified NIE on North Korea’s nuclear programs.

According to Hersh, the highly-classified DPRK NIE "made the case" that North Korea had violated – right under the noses of the IAEA inspectors – both the NPT and the Agreed Framework by secretly obtaining the means to produce weapons-grade uranium.

So, just before going to Congress with the Iraq NIE, seeking the authority to invade and occupy Iraq, Bush used the DPRK NIE to justify the unilateral abrogation of the Agreed Framework.

To this day, DPRK officials deny ever having had such a program, and no evidence – convincing to neighbors China and Russia – has ever surfaced that it did.

Nevertheless, with the Agreed Framework unilaterally abrogated and its associated shipments of American fuel-oil permanently halted, the Koreans apparently felt they had no choice but to withdraw from the NPT, rip off the IAEA seals and padlocks, restart their plutonium-producing reactor and resume recovery of weapons-grade plutonium.

So, what China and Russia have been attempting to do, since 2005, via the Six-Party talks, is to help clean up the mess Bush-Cheney-Bolton made on the neighboring Korean peninsula.

When those talks stalled in 2006, North Korea announced it would test one of its nuclear warheads, and by all accounts, semi-successfully (at least 5KT yield) did so that October.

The Bush-Rice reaction? They instructed Hill to return to the negotiations because they were "not going to accept" reality, namely, a nuke armed North Korea.

So, what were the key "Second Phase Actions" of October, 2007?

Well, to effectively re-instate the Agreed Framework of 1994, except that now North Korea has – somewhere – at least a half-dozen plutonium-239 based nukes, definitely not under IAEA padlock or seal. Furthermore, North Korea is no longer a signatory to the NPT. Hence, North Korea is under no international obligation to give up its nuke stockpile.

Finally, whatever "intelligence" the CIA may allege it has in future, the United States will be in no position to unilaterally abrogate this agreement, since China and Russia are now also parties to it.

How did Bush-Cheney-Bolton get us into this mess?

Remember this?

"States like these, and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world. By seeking weapons of mass destruction, these regimes pose a grave and growing danger. They could provide these arms to terrorists, giving them the means to match their hatred."

Great Zot! North Korea might abrogate the Agreed Framework? Might withdraw from the NPT? Might restart its weapon-grade plutonium-producing reactors? Might produce a few nukes? Might provide them to terrorists?

What, oh what, should Bush the Younger do?

"I will not wait on events while dangers gather. I will not stand by as peril draws closer and closer. The United States of America will not permit the world’s most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world’s most destructive weapons."

Okay, that was seven years ago, and thanks to Bush-Cheney-Bolton, one of the world’s most dangerous regimes has at least a half-dozen nukes, and is in a position to provide them to terrorists.

But the North Koreans insist they would never do that.

(They also insist they would never share any of their nuclear technology – including plutonium-producing reactors – with anyone, including Syria. And, as of this writing, there is no convincing evidence that they have.)

So, with the help of Russia and China, if the North Koreans can be believed, Ambassador Hill has been able to ameliorate, somewhat, the damage Bush-Cheney-Bolton did to our national security.

And – who knows – if confirmed as Obama’s Ambassador to Iraq, Hill may be able, with the help of Iran, to ameliorate, somewhat, the damage Bush-Cheney (in league with the neo-crazies and human-rights activists) did to our national security in Iraq.

Of course, simply ameliorating the damage done to our national security won’t be enough for the human-rights activists.

Senator Brownback pointedly included in his floor speech opposing Hill’s nomination these words of Rabbi Abraham Cooper;

"By exclusively pursuing the nuclear tail around the six-party table, we have contributed to the horrible suffering of the people of North Korea and degraded the United States’ long-standing commitment to fundamental human rights.

"Like the inmates of the Soviet Gulag or the Nazi concentration camps of the 1930s, about 200,000 to 300,000 hapless victims in North Korean camps wait for help. Our silence to these and other outrages is perhaps Pyongyang’s greatest victory to date." 

Well, how about our silence to the outrages committed on the hapless inmates of Gaza?

Author: Gordon Prather

Physicist James Gordon Prather has served as a policy implementing official for national security-related technical matters in the Federal Energy Agency, the Energy Research and Development Administration, the Department of Energy, the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Department of the Army. Dr. Prather also served as legislative assistant for national security affairs to U.S. Sen. Henry Bellmon, R-Okla. -- ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee and member of the Senate Energy Committee and Appropriations Committee. Dr. Prather had earlier worked as a nuclear weapons physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and Sandia National Laboratory in New Mexico.