Thursday, February 10, 2005

N. Korea Announces It Has Nuclear Weapons

Well, here we go again. This is classic dysfunctional child behavior. The child seeks attention and because the parent doesn't nurture the child learns to misbehave thus receiving negative reinforcement. The child's behavior continues to spiral out of control due to it's increased need or attention. Mazel Tov! We're fostering a baby North Korea!

And for those keeping score, you realize it's only a matter of time before Iran receives nuke technology from N. Korea after a sufficient amount of stalling before the EU.

This from the UK Guardian:

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - North Korea on Thursday announced for the first time that it has nuclear weapons and rejected moves to restart disarmament talks any time soon, saying it needs the weapons as protection against an increasingly hostile United States.

The communist state's pronouncement dramatically raised the stakes in the two-year-old nuclear confrontation and posed a grave challenge to President Bush, who started his second term with a vow to end North Korea's nuclear program through six-nation talks.

``We ... have manufactured nukes for self-defense to cope with the Bush administration's ever more undisguised policy to isolate and stifle the (North),'' the North Korean Foreign Ministry said in a statement carried by the state-run Korean Central News Agency.

The claim could not be independently verified. North Korea expelled the last U.N. nuclear monitors in late 2002 and has never tested a nuclear bomb, although international officials have long suspected it has one or two nuclear bombs and enough fuel for several more.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Washington would consult allies before responding.

``I think we just have to first look at the statement and then we need to talk with our allies,'' Rice told Dutch RTL television while on a trip through Europe.

``The North Koreans have no reason to believe that anyone wants to attack them,'' she added. ``They have been told they can have multilateral security assurances if they will make the important decision to give up their nuclear weapons program. So there is really no reason for this, but we will examine where we go next.''

Previously, North Korea had reportedly told U.S. negotiators in private talks that it had nuclear weapons and might test one of them. The North's U.N. envoy said last year that the country had ``weaponized'' plutonium from its pool of 8,000 nuclear spent fuel rods. Those rods contained enough plutonium for several bombs.

But Thursday's statement was North Korea's first public acknowledgment that it has nuclear weapons.

North Korea's ``nuclear weapons will remain (a) nuclear deterrent for self-defense under any circumstances,'' the ministry said. It said Washington's alleged attempt to topple the North's regime ``compels us to take a measure to bolster its nuclear weapons arsenal in order to protect the ideology, system, freedom and democracy chosen by its people.''

Since 2003, the United States, the two Koreas, China, Japan and Russia have held three rounds of talks in Beijing aimed at persuading the North to abandon nuclear weapons development in return for economic and diplomatic rewards. No significant progress has been made.

A fourth round scheduled for last September was canceled when North Korea refused to attend, citing what it called a ``hostile'' U.S. policy.

In recent weeks, hopes had risen that North Korea might return to the six-nation talks, especially after Bush refrained from any direct criticism of North Korea when he started his second term last month.

On Thursday, North Korea said it decided not to rejoin such talks any time soon after studying Bush's inaugural and State of the Union speeches and after Rice labeled North Korea one of the ``outposts of tyranny.''

``We have wanted the six-party talks but we are compelled to suspend our participation in the talks for an indefinite period till we have recognized that there is justification for us to attend the talks and there are ample conditions and atmosphere to expect positive results from the talks,'' the ministry said.

Still, North Korea said it retained its ``principled stand to solve the issue through dialogue and negotiations and its ultimate goal to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula remain unchanged.''

Such a comment has widely been interpreted as North Korea's negotiating tactic to get more economic and diplomatic concessions from the United States before joining any crucial talks.

In Japan, the top government spokesman said he wanted to confirm the North's intentions.

``They have used this sort of phrasing every so often. They didn't say anything particularly new,'' Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda told a regular news conference.

For months, North Korea has lashed out at what it calls U.S. attempts to demolish the regime of leader Kim Jong Il and meddle in the human rights situation in the North. Washington has said it wants to resolve the nuclear talks through dialogue.

In his Jan. 20 inaugural speech, Bush vowed that his new administration would not shrink from ``the great objective of ending tyranny'' around the globe.

In his State of the Union address earlier this month, Bush only mentioned North Korea once, saying Washington was ``working closely with governments in Asia to convince North Korea to abandon its nuclear ambitions.''

Bush's tone was in stark contrast to three years ago, when he branded North Korea part of an ``axis of evil'' with Iran and Iraq, raising hopes of a positive response from North Korea.

The nuclear crisis erupted in October 2002 when U.S. officials accused North Korea of running a secret uranium-enrichment program in violation of international treaties. Washington and its allies cut off free fuel oil shipments for the impoverished country under a 1994 deal with the United States.

North Korea retaliated by quitting the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty in early 2003 and restarting its plutonium-based nuclear weapons program, which had been frozen under the 1994 agreement.


At 7:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

North Korea is not concerned about peace, or war. It is concerned about food and money. Every few years, it starts feeling the crunch, freaks out and starts making these claims, so that it has some negotiating powers in terms of aid. It’s not clear that they have nuclear weapons even if they say they do. But what’s striking is that not one news report I’ve heard mentioned the fact that the South Koreans published a report early this week saying the U.S. has committed more than half a million troops and 2000 planes in the event of a conflict with North Korea. (This I got from the site you have posted: Is it some coincidence that we are hearing this response from North Korea?

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