Thursday, March 1, 2007

North Korea 8: America 0

Bush's foreign policy legacy in East Asia could be summed up by the number eight. That's how many nukes North Korea would seem to have now scored on account of the foreign policy ineptitude of the Bush Administration. The NY Times reports:
“The administration appears to have made a very costly decision that has resulted in a fourfold increase in the nuclear weapons of North Korea,” Senator Reed said in an interview on Wednesday. “If that was based in part on mixing up North Korea’s ambitions with their accomplishments, it’s important."
The "costly decision" was to scrap the Clinton Administration's agreement with North Korea, which meant there were no longer any international constraints put on the North Korean nuclear program. Senator Reed, a Republican, seems to be presuming that North Korea had two nuclear weapons when Bush came to office -- that's how you get estimates of "a four-fold increase" under Bush, and the number 8. However, many analysts believe that North Korea didn't have any nuclear bombs in 2001.

Effectively, the White House gave North Korea the green light to produce nukes, scrapping the agreement signed by the Clinton Administration that had, in fact, put a stop to North Korea's (very real) plutonium program.The Bush administration scrapped the agreement whereby they could inspect North Korea's plutonium reactor; the US claimed North Korea had violated the "deal" citing evidence of a secret North Korean uranium program. But now the US Administration admits that the alleged evidence for the uranium program had been misinterpreted (sound familiar?).

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