Jimmy Carter thinks he has the right touch when it comes to solving the North Korea crisis
I’m not kidding. He’s actually trying to claim the agreement he brokered with then-North Korean President President Kim Il-sung (father of current North Korean maniac President Kim Jong-il) was working … until President Bush declared North Korea a member of the axis of evil back in January 2002. Via an opinion piece he wrote for the NYT:
Responding to an invitation from President Kim Il-sung of North Korea, and with the approval of President Bill Clinton, I went to Pyongyang and negotiated an agreement under which North Korea would cease its nuclear program at Yongbyon and permit inspectors from the atomic agency to return to the site to assure that the spent fuel was not reprocessed. It was also agreed that direct talks would be held between the two Koreas.
The spent fuel (estimated to be adequate for a half-dozen bombs) continued to be monitored, and extensive bilateral discussions were held. The United States assured the North Koreans that there would be no military threat to them, that it would supply fuel oil to replace the lost nuclear power and that it would help build two modern atomic power plants, with their fuel rods and operation to be monitored by international inspectors. The summit talks resulted in South Korean President Kim Dae-jung earning the 2000 Nobel Peace Prize for his successful efforts to ease tensions on the peninsula.
But beginning in 2002, the United States branded North Korea as part of an axis of evil, threatened military action, ended the shipments of fuel oil and the construction of nuclear power plants and refused to consider further bilateral talks. In their discussions with me at this time, North Korean spokesmen seemed convinced that the American positions posed a serious danger to their country and to its political regime.
Responding in its ill-advised but predictable way, Pyongyang withdrew from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, expelled atomic energy agency inspectors, resumed processing fuel rods and began developing nuclear explosive devices.
What a flipping joke! Can you believe the chutzpah of this guy? He’s completely whitewashed what happened after that ‘historic’ 1994 deal was made, and Republicans should not let him get away with it. Here’s a small sampling of incidents that took place after the 1994 Agreed Framework and before the Axis of Evil speech:
Aug. 31, 1998: North Korea fires a multistage over Japan and into the Pacific Ocean, proving it can strike any part of Japan’s territory.
May 25-28, 1999: Former Defense Secretary William Perry visits North Korea and delivers a U.S. disarmament proposal.
Sept. 13: North Korea pledges to freeze long-range missile tests.
Sept. 17: U.S. President Bill Clinton eases economic sanctions against North Korea.
December: A U.S.-led consortium signs a US$4.6 billion contract for two safer, Western-developed light-water nuclear reactors in North Korea.
July 2000: North Korea again threatens to restart its nuclear program if Washington doesn’t compensate for the loss of electricity caused by delays in building nuclear power plants.
June 2001: North Korea warns it will reconsider its moratorium on missile tests if the Bush administration doesn’t resume contacts aimed at normalizing relations.
July: State Department reports North Korea is going ahead with development of its long-range missile. A Bush administration official says North Korea conducts an engine test of the Taepodong-1 missile.
December: President Bush warns Iraq and North Korea that they would be “held accountable” if they developed weapons of mass destruction “that will be used to terrorize nations.”
Although the sanctions against North Korea were largely lifted and oil deliveries began in early 1995, the development of the LWRs became more complex. The U.S., South Korea, Japan and several other countries came together to form the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) to build the reactors. KEDO soon pushed back the deadline for completing the reactors from 2003 to 2007. Bureaucratic wrangling over contracts and the establishment of KEDO slowed the process even more so that the foundations for the two reactors were not poured until August 2002.
North Korea also slowed the process by making new demands on KEDO, including that the consortium cover the costs of modernizing the North’s electricity grid. KEDO rejected the request and the North countered with a demand that the U.S. cover the costs associated with the delayed reactors, which the U.S. has refused to do.
Even as the nations were debating implementation of the Agreed Framework, North Korea, the U.S. argues, was breaking the spirit, if not the letter, of the pact. Within months of signing the framework, North Korea and Pakistan reportedly cut a deal to trade missile technology for Pakistan’s uranium enrichment techniques — the Agreed Framework had banned plutonium enrichment programs.
For more than three years, the North Koreans worked quietly on their uranium project while urging the U.S. to fully implement the Agreed Framework. According to a Chinese government report that was leaked to a Japanese newspaper, the project included a secret uranium processing facility located inside Mount Chonma, near the Chinese border.
The Clinton administration apparently learned of the secret program in late 1998 or early 1999, and by March 2000, President Clinton informed Congress he could no longer certify that “North Korea is not seeking to develop or acquire the capability to enrich uranium.”
Heightened tensions in the peninsula
Over the next two years, the United States continued to compile evidence on North Korea’s uranium project. It was this evidence that prompted President Bush to label the Kim Jong Il government part of the “axis of evil” in his 2002 State of the Union address.
In other words, it was the utter failure of the Carter’s Agreed Framework that led President Bush to declare North Korea, along with Iran and Iraq, as a member of the axis of evil.
What Carter has done here is deliberately omitted facts that are clearly out there on other sites for all to research as to what North Korea’s actions were after the 1994 Agreed Framework and before the President’s 2002 declaration of NK as part of the axis of evil. This is not just a misrepresentation of the activities that have taken place in North Korea since 1994 being perpetuated by a former American president who was a key participant in the agreement, it’s an outright lie. Not only that, but he’s utilizing a tactic so many other far lefties who, instead of analyzing an issue in depth to understand how it came about and what should be done about it, choose to throw out there without thinking: BLAME BUSH, because it couldn’t possibly have anything to do with a failure of Democratic polices, now could it?
That’s not to say the Bush adminstration has handled the North Korea situation perfectly. But for Carter, who won a Nobel Peace prize in 2002 in part thanks to his joke of an agreement with North Korea which led to anything but ‘peace’, to mislead the American people into thinking that things were all wine and roses between the US and North Korea prior to the President’s 2002 axis of evil speech is a gross distortion of the facts.
Well, the roses part, anyway. The wine part is another:
Hat tip: Dean Barnett
PM Update: McQ provides more info on NK’s activities, including this crucial link (emphasis added):
The Bush Administration disclosed on October 16, 2002, that North Korea had revealed to U.S. Assistant Secretary of State James Kellyin Pyongyang that it was conducting a secret nuclear weapons program based on the process of uranium enrichment. North Korea admitted the program in response to U.S. evidence presented by Kelly.
The program is based on the process of uranium enrichment, in contrast to North Korea’s pre-1995 nuclear program based on plutonium reprocessing. North Korea began a secret uranium enrichment program after 1995 reportedly with the assistance of Pakistan. North Korea provided Pakistan with intermediate range ballistic missiles in the late1990s. The Central Intelligence Agency issued a statement in December 2002 that North Korea likely could produce an atomic bomb through uranium enrichment in 2004.
Memeorandum has many more links to bloggers right and left discussing Carter’s opinion piece as well as the overall situation with North Korea.