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Monday, October 09, 2006

Clinton's North Korea - Timeline of a Nuke

"Now where the hell did I put that friggin' speech!?"
I found it very interesting to hear Hillary Clinton recently rail against President Bush and his "failed foreign policy" which she claims has resulted in North Korea's continued defiance of the U.N. and its recent testing of a nuclear detonation.

For one thing, she joins fellow Moonbats like John Kerry and Nancy Pelosi in the argument that we should have taken a "Unilateral" approach...when that is EXACTLY what Hills and her ilk have criticized about other Bush foreign policies (i.e. Iraq).

Add that to the inescapable fact that it was her own husband, the over-praised and inexplicably forgiven Bill Clinton who, more than anyone else, made this day possible for North Korea - a broken dictatorial nation whose major exports are known to be counterfeit U.S. Dollars and Missiles. Courtesy of Newsmax and the New Zealand Herald, here is the Chronology:

Timeline of a Nuke

A review of recent history shows that that the Clinton administration gave up a clear and perhaps last best chance to nip the North Korean bomb in the bud:

1985: North Korea signs the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

1989: The CIA discovers the North Koreans are building a reprocessing facility — a reactor capable of converting fuel rods into weapons-grade plutonium. The fuel rods were extracted 10 years before from that nation's Yongbyon reactor. The rods represent a shortcut to enriched plutonium and an atomic bomb.

Spring, 1994: A year into President Clinton's first term, North Korea prepares to remove the Yongbyon fuel rods from their storage site. North Korea expels international weapons inspectors and withdraws from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Clinton asks the United Nations Security Council to consider sanctions. North Korean spokesmen proclaim such sanctions would cause war.

The Pentagon draws up plans to send 50,000 troops to South Korea — along with 400 war planes, 50 ships, Apache helicopters, Bradley fighting vehicles, and Patriot missiles. An advance force of 250 soldiers is sent in to set up headquarters for the expanded force.

Clinton balks and sets up a diplomatic back-channel to end the crisis — former president Jimmy Carter. Exceeding instructions, Carter negotiates the outlines of a treaty and announces the terms live on CNN.

Oct. 21, 1994: The United States and North Korea sign a formal accord based on those outlines, called the Agreed Framework. Under its terms, North Korea promises to renew its commitment to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, lock up the fuel rods, and let inspectors back in to monitor the facility.

Clinton agrees — with financial backing from South Korea and Japan — that it will provide two light-water nuclear reactors for electricity, send a large supply of fuel oil, and that it will not invade North Korea. Upon delivery of the first light-water reactor, inspections of suspected North Korean nuclear sites were supposed to start. After the second reactor arrived, North Korea was supposed to ship its fuel rods out of the country.

The two countries also agreed to lower trade barriers and install ambassadors in each other's capitals — with the United States providing full assurances that it would never use nuclear weapons against North Korea.

(None of the above came to pass. Congress did not make the financial commitment — neither did South Korea. The light-water reactors were never funded. The enumerated steps toward normalization were never taken.)

Jan. 2002: In President Bush's State of the Union Address, he famously labels North Korea, Iran, and Iraq as the "axis of evil."

Oct. 2002: Officials from the U.S. State Department fly to Pyongyang, where that government admits it had acquired centrifuges for processing highly enriched uranium (which could be used for building nuclear weapons). It is now clear to all parties that the promised reactors are never going to be built. Normalization of relations fizzles. The CIA learns that North Korea may have been acquiring centrifuges for enriching uranium since the late 1990s — probably from Pakistan.

Oct. 20, 2002: Bush announces that the United States is formally withdrawing from the Carter-brokered 1994 agreement. The United States halts oil supplies to North Korea and urges other countries to cut off all economic relations with Pyongyang.

Dec. 2002: North Korea expels the international weapons inspectors, restarts the nuclear reactor at Yongbyon, and unlocks the container holding the fuel rods.

Jan. 10, 2003: North Korea withdraws from the Non-Proliferation Treaty — noting, however, that there would be a change of position if the U.S. resumed its obligations under the Agreed Framework and signed a non-aggression pledge.

Mar. 2003: President Bush orders several B-1 and B-52 bombers to the U.S. Air Force base in Guam — within range of North Korea.

Apr. 2003: North Korea's deputy foreign minister announces that his country now has "deterrent" nuclear weapons.

May, 2003: Bush orders the Guam-based aircraft back to their home bases.

Oct. 2003: The North Koreans announce they have reprocessed all 8,000 of their fuel rods and solved the technical problems of converting the plutonium into nuclear bombs.

2004 - 2005: Kim Jong-il plays a diplomatic cat 'n mouse in numerous rounds of six-party talks while his nuclear development continues.

Jul. 5 2006: North Korea launches seven missiles from its east coast, including the long-range Taepodong-2.

Oct. 9 2006: North Korea conducts its first underground Nuclear test. The entire world is outraged, and sanctions are called for.
Can you see a common thread here? Back when strong intervention would have been much simpler, with no potential of N. Korea using nuclear armaments, the moment has passed and naive promises made and broken.

Let's see....a weak president, using an even weaker (and even worse) former president, tried to talk his way out of dealing with a growing threat. Almost as if he was preoccupied with something else...seems rather like deja vu, don't you think? Kinda reminds one of Clinton having allowed a certain Osama bin Laden to escape - only to mastermind the murders of over 3000 Americans and several hundred others in the ensuing years.


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Retired Navy and Cold War/Gulf War Veteran. Senior Analyst for a large defense contractor, Bachelor of Science, Father, moonlighting Graphic Designer (T-shirts etc) and Blogger.

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