Well, according to the New York Times editorialists,
news" is that President Bush and Condi Rice are apparently "so
eager for an enduring foreign policy victory, in hopes of offsetting their failures
in Iraq" that they have agreed to be a party – along with China, Russia
and Japan – to essentially a partial re-institution of the U.S.-DPRK
Agreed Framework of 1994 [.pdf].
Under the new "Six-Party" agreement, the U.S. will again be required
to provide formal assurances to the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea against
the threat or use of nuclear weapons and the DPRK will again be required to
enter into a bilateral
agreement with the Republic of Korea resulting in the "denuclearization"
– no weapons programs, no uranium enrichment programs, no spent-fuel recovery
programs – of the Korean peninsula.
Why is a Six-Party – China, Russia, Japan, DPRK, ROK and the U.S. – partial
re-institution of the Agreed Framework necessary?
Recall that, in the run-up to his war of aggression against Iraq, Bush unilaterally
abrogated the U.S.-DPRK bilateral Agreed Framework, on the
pretext that some un-named DPRK official had "admitted" to some
un-named U.S. official at a cocktail party that the charges Bonkers Bolton et
al had been making – that DPRK had a secret enriched-uranium bomb project –
Of course, once Bush abrogated the Agreed Framework – which had required North
Korea to remain a signatory to the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
– North Korea withdrew from the NPT (which automatically rendered its Safeguards
Agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency null and void), restarted
its "frozen" plutonium-producing (as a by-product) reactor, announced it was
going to separate out the by-product weapons-grade plutonium and use it to construct
a "nuclear deterrent."
Last October the North Koreans – according to the Bush Administration – conducted
an at least partially successful test of a plutonium-based nuclear device. Furthermore,
they are credited with having produced enough weapons-grade plutonium to make
at least a half-dozen more nukes.
now, the North Koreans continue to deny that they ever had – or "admitted"
to having – a Uranium-235 nuke program. Furthermore, the "intelligence"
that Bush-Rice showed the Chinese about the alleged DPRK U-235 nuke program
at the beginning of the current Six-Party talks – the principal goal of which
is the verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula – was "unconvincing."
Nevertheless, Bush-Rice – ever the diplomat – is going to try to make DPRK
prove that they don’t now have a Uranium-235 nuke program, or didn’t have the
Uranium-235 nuke materials and production equipment that Bonkers Bolton has
they tried to ship to Iran, last month, by way of Syria.
It is not clear what will happen if the Koreans, Chinese, Russians and Japanese come to an agreement with North Korea, acceptable to them, that diplomat Bush-Rice refuses to sign.
(Nor is it clear what will happen if the IAEA Board of Governors comes to an
agreement with Iran that diplomat Bush-Rice refuses to sign. Nor what will happen
if the Nuclear Suppliers Group comes to an agreement with India that diplomat
Bush-Rice refuses to sign.)
What is clear is that, irrespective of what the Six-Party talks accomplish,
both Koreas are
deadly serious about negotiating – in a separate
forum – a peace treaty to formally end the Korean War, which began in 1950.
But there’s a problem.
A few weeks ago, in meetings with Bush, ROK President Roh apparently
thought that he had gotten a commitment from Bush to allow those ROK-DPRK peace
talks to go forward. Bush immediately disabused him of that notion.
"I can't make it any more clear, Mr. President. We look forward to the day when we can end the Korean War. That will happen when Kim Jong-il verifiably gets rid of his weapons programs and his weapons."
So, how come Bush thinks he’s in a position to dictate the terms of a peace settlement of the Korean War?
Thereby hangs a tale.
On August 8th, 1945, the Soviet Union – as promised – declared war
on Japan and on August 10th entered – and liberated – the neighboring
Korean Peninsula, which had been "annexed" by the Japanese in 1910.
Before withdrawing, in 1948, the Soviets established the Democratic People’s
Republic of Korea in the North. But, that same year, President Truman got the
United Nations to recognize the U.S.-established Republic of Korea to be the
sole legal government of Korea.
So, two years later, the DPRK regime attempted to supplant the ROK regime.
Whereupon, Truman got the Security Council to recommend
that "Members of the United Nations furnish such assistance to the Republic
of Korea as may be necessary to repel the armed attack and to restore international
peace and security in the area."
When U.S.-led armed forces not only repelled the armed attack on the South,
but attempted to eliminate the DPRK regime in the North, "hordes" of "volunteers"
from the People’s Republic of China – also not recognized by the UN – poured
across the Yalu River.
A military stalemate eventually ensued and in 1953 an armistice
was signed – between the commanding general of the UN forces and the commanding
generals of the DPRK and PRC "people’s" armies – making the 38th
Parallel the dividing line between the UN recognized ROK and the still unrecognized
Guess who’s the Commander-in-Chief of the UN forces still in the ROK.
And who’s the Commander-in-Chief of the DPRK ‘people’s’ army"?
Who’s the Commander-in-Chief of the PRC "people’s" army?
That’s a good question.
But whoever he is, he’s a Commie, has recently conducted military exercises
with his Russian opposite number, has hundreds of thermo-nukes atop ICBMs and
more than $1.2 trillion in foreign reserve assets, of which more than $420 billion
are U.S. Treasury securities.
If Bush-Rice really wants an "enduring foreign policy victory" he
might just want to sign a peace treaty with that guy, whoever he is.