Sequencing N. Korea
It turns on what the negotiators call sequencing, the chicken-and-egg debate on which steps should come first.
North Korea wants aid, security gains and diplomatic recognition and an end to U.S. hostility before starting to take apart its nuclear programs. The United States wants it the other way round.
Washington also demands full and verifiable destruction of Pyongyang's weapons programs, which intelligence sources say have produced enough enriched plutonium for up to nine nuclear bombs, before any aid or guarantees materialize."
I heard this expressed more clearly on NPR. Basically, the N. Koreans want us to guarantee that we won't attack the, for whatever that's worth before they get rid of their nukes. Our position is that they should get rid of their nukes and then we'll promise not to attack them.
Think about that for a minute. Didn't we learn anything from Indiana Jones, "Give me the idol and I'll give you the whip."
It's almost like we don't want to come to an agreement with N. Korea.
Quick history. In the run up to the Iraq war, Jimmy Carter was given the Nobel Peace Prize for the agreement reached for monitoring N. Korean nuclear facilities under Clinton. It wasn't by any means foolproof, but the video cameras on the waste pools made removal of large amounts of spent fuel rods nearly impossible. Basically, the N. Koreans would be able to continue research elsewhere, but would not be able to use the spent fuel rods to create bomb fuel.
Now, the politics of the Carter Nobel Prize were seen to be a slap in the face of those in the US who wanted to go to war in Iraq, after all, even in a country with a provable WMD program, a solution could be reached without war. The pro war hawks were pissed by all this.
So, a few weeks after the Nobel award, at a cocktail party in S.Korea, a "drunken" US diplomat let slip some information regarding the N Korean program which caused a rift in the current monitoring regime. Within a few months, the whole monitoring agreement fell apart, the cameras were disabled, and we lost all access to what the North Korean's were doing with their nuke program.
As we now know, they then promptly began processing those now unmonitored fuel rods and rather quickly had a nuclear bomb.
And who was the drunken diplomat who messed up the whole arrangement, well, it has been suggested that he was none other than our next, recess appointment ambassador to the UN John Bolton.
And now you know the rest of the story.