Skip to comments.US politician praises North Korea
Posted on 10/22/2005 12:58:52 AM PDT by Hadean
North Korea is committed to dismantling its nuclear weapons programme, an unofficial US envoy has said, after a visit to the capital Pyongyang. Bill Richardson said he was "very pleased" with North Korea's willingness to make progress in six-nation talks.
Pyongyang has already pledged to abandon its nuclear weapons in an earlier round of the talks.
Mr Richardson, former US ambassador at the UN, said North Korea now wanted to focus on a civilian nuclear programme.
"Their view is that what needs to be addressed is the light water reactor," he said.
North Korea has said it will renounce its nuclear weapons in exchange for aid and security guarantees and foreign help in building a civilian nuclear programme.
Mr Richardson said Pyongyang officials had indicated they may eventually allow US and other monitors into the country to ensure none of the spent fuel from a civilian reactor is diverted to weapons.
'Show of transparency'
Mr Richardson, the governor of the US state of New Mexico, spent several days meeting North Korean officials and touring their nuclear facilities last week.
He later told the South Korean foreign minister that the North had indicated it was willing to comply with international non-proliferation treaties and to allow UN monitoring of its nuclear programme.
"I was impressed with their tone, and their commitment to principles," he told reporters in the South Korean capital, Seoul.
Mr Richardson said he had been allowed to tour a nuclear facility in Yongbyon, in an apparent "show of transparency" that "bodes well for six-party talks".
The next round of talks - involving the two Koreas, China, Japan, the US and Russia - will be held in the first week of November, he said.
"My view is that we should not expect an agreement in the next round," he said. "There will be measurable progress that might lead to a future agreement."
The nuclear dispute with Pyongyang began in late 2002, when the US accused North Korea of having a uranium-based nuclear arms programme, in violation of international agreements.
Separately, Mr Richardson said North Korea had told him UN food aid workers will be allowed to remain in the country, reversing an earlier threat to kick them out.
In recent years, the UN and other international agencies have been feeding up to six million of the poorest and most vulnerable North Koreans.
Mr Richardson said a new agreement could enable the UN's World Food Programme workers to stay on "under a renewed definition of what development aid is".
N. Korea (and Kim ) like Richardson because he is a fool..
For some reason, it just kills me that a member of the former administration would even USE words that come close to those previously uttered..
Unbelievable! But, what can one expect.
What is Bill doing over there in the first place?
And the worst possible place in the world for this loose cannon with God-knows what loyalties to go, is North Korea, a psychotic regime with actual nuclear weapons.
And this isn't the first Democrat screw up, or the second, or the third. Albright and Carter have also made pilgrimages to this murdering, thieving, lying bum in Korea, and come out saying nice things about his regime.
The White House needs to, and can, put an absolute stop to this. At the very least, such freelancing undercuts the ability of the US to take a strong, consistent position in the 6-nation talks.
John / Billybob
May? Sounds like a Clinton deal and what's this puke doing there anyway?
"I was impressed with their tone, and their commitment to principles," he told reporters..
"If Richardson believes any of this "horse hockey" he is a fool.." Nothing new Richardson has always been a fool. Amen.
I'd probably agree with what you've said above if you were talking about a nation other than North Korea.
First, consider that North Korea's geopolitical strategy has been to play the "crazy aunt in the attic" routine (let food aid in, kick it out, promise a deal, break the deal, talk about peace, send raiding parties or subs into South Korea, talk about war, end the raiding parties, etc.).
It's not by accident. They **want** to appear crazy, and they've succeeded. "Crazy Kim Il with a nuke?!" No one wants that.
And that brings me to point #2: The Bush Administration's strategy of dealing with North Korea (6 party talks, Korean unification, etc.) has been to simply say "This is China's problem."
Brilliant! That's why North Korea has finally come around. Now North Korea is finally behaving.
Why?! Because if China couldn't rein in little Kim Il (e.g. 6 party talks), then China would lose face.
China, for its part, simply bet that they could play the mature Asian state role long enough for the Bush Administration to make some slip that would justify "ending" the 6 party talks (i.e. blaming the U.S.).
By dropping all other geopolitical moves related to North Korea save for those **exclusively** related to nuclear non-proliferation (e.g. our seizures of NK "nuclear" ships on the high seas and the 6 party talks themselves), GWB made North Korea China's problem.
If China couldn't make little Kim Il behave, then they certainly couldn't make Taiwan sit up straight, much less India.
China's last significant land war was its brutal and humiliating loss to North Vietnam after it invaded in 1979. For North Korea to further humiliate "modern" China would be unconscionable to China's PLA.
So China brought down the hammer on North Korea (note: no NK nuclear test this year, for instance...plus NK is agreeing in public and to China to disarm).
All of the above brings me to my 3rd point, that of Governor Richardson in NK. Ordinarily a Democrat going on his own diplomatic mission means meddling at the least and damn-near-treason at the most...certainly something to be stopped by the White House as you note above.
But North Korea isn't ordinary...
By not going out of their way to stop Richardson, the Bush Administration is giving North Korea a diplomatic way to act as the crazy aunt in the attic.
It is, in short, a way to channel NK's more forceful geopolitical moves into a diplomatic channel (which is where they need to be).
Moreover, in this one case it doesn't harm the U.S. strategy vis a vis NK...simply because we're still going to be saying "This is China's problem."
By keeping this whole issue so blindingly simple...by keeping the geopolitical ball entrenched firmly in China's court...we win.
China has to do our dirty work for us or else suffer a horrific "loss of face" to their regional rivals Taiwan, Japan, and India...all of whom would view China's failure to control Kim Il as demonstrating the limits of Chinese power.
Ignore the starvation of the masses. Ignore the slave labor camps or the indoctrination camps. Ignore the truth richardson you puke.
"Congratulations Bill, you've just taken yourself out of contention for the 2008 primaries. So how did did Hillary get those words to come out of your mouth?"
Easy, she was wearing kneepads and he'll be Secretary of State in her administration.
Oddly enough, the "Why can't we all just get along?" Bush administration asked him to go and assigned him a mission, furnished transportation, security, etc.
Lou Costello checks in.
Thank you for the "help" on this one.
What on earth is a sane person like you doing in a room full of whackos like this one?
Everybody here seems preoccupied with swatting at imaginary flies and composing their next pompous pronouncements.
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