Michael Rubin on North Korea:
|Both North Korea and Irans nuclear diplomacy are testaments to how Western diplomats reward intransigence. Take North Korea: During a June 30, 2006, American Enterprise Institute panel, Danielle Pletka pointed out the pattern: On August 31, 1998, Pyongyang fired the Taepodong-1 missile over Japan. Three months later, U.S. officials held the first round of high-level talks in Pyongyang. North Korean leader Kim Jong Il demanded to be rewarded for ceasing his provocations. He was. The following year, U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry visited North Korea to offer normalized relations and a lifting of economic sanctions if Pyongyang froze and eventually dismantled its long-range-missile program and stopped its missile exports. On September 17, 1999, President Clinton eased sanctions against the north. Two months later, a U.S.-led consortium signed a $4.6 billion contract for two Western light-water nuclear reactors for the Stalinist police state. The Clinton administration began shipping food aid to the famine-ridden north, which Pyongyang used to grease its war machine even as ordinary citizens starved.|
Having been given everything it had asked for, Kim Jong Il decided he wanted more. On July 1, 2000, he threatened to restart the nuclear program if Washington did not compensate it for electricity lost by delays in plant construction. Pyongyang then threatened to reverse course on its missile test moratorium. It did. On July 2001, it conducted a Taepodong-1 engine test.
All the while, Kim Jong Il cheated. The Bush administration did not initially agree to accept North Korean smoke-and-mirrors. In October 2002, the Bush administration announced that Pyongyang had operated a covert nuclear-weapons program in violation of its 1994 agreement. Diplomats may celebrate treaties. Many who helped negotiate the 1994 Agreed Framework have meritorious service certificates framed on their wall. But agreements are meaningless if not adhered to, and seldom do autocracies stick to agreements if they gain more through noncompliance.
Bush needs to get tough and committ some actions to rein this nitwit in before it is too late.