Her Ladyship

Notes from the gutter.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Let's butch this place up a bit

I could barely breathe from all the estrogen floating around here, so I thought I'd change the tone to something infinitely more phallic: nuclear weapons. After years of fruitless six-party talks, North Korea announced that it does, indeed, have nukes and claims it will no longer participate in the international talks.

Clap. Clap. Clap. Well done, Bush administration.

So we've gone from having an international forum to discuss this issue with countries who could actually affect North Korea's policy (China and South Korea, both of which have burgeoning economic ties to Pyongyang) to nothing. We've gone to North Korea having maybe one or two nukes to them having a suspected six to eight weapons. That's enough to test one, store one, and sell a few.

And this was largely because the United States was off chasing its bete noire, Iraq, and left North Korea to stew in its own juices. You neglect a bad situation for long enough and it will come to a head of its own.

I have to say, though: suck it, Weldon! Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Penn., just got back from a series of meetings with the North Koreans. He likes to brag about his ties to most world leaders and is no different about Kim Jong-Il. He returned, going on about how they were *thisclose* to rejoining the six-party talks and they were running scared because of the new nuclear weapon (one that supposedly can hit underground bunkers) that the United States is researching. Looks like someone overestimated his authority and the extent of his persuasive capabilities.

Now we've really got our hands tied with North Korea. We should be doing everything we can to get an actual agreement with Pyongyang. Instead, the United States is continuing its mantra of refusing to do or give anything until North Korea agrees to stop completely its nuclear program. Apparently we'd rather have the warm fuzzy feelings of having won the upper hand in negotiations rather than the satisfaction of cooling the heels of an active nuclear program.

And yet who is the administration focusing on presently? Iran, who has been publicly warned and of whom a spate of articles have been written recently. A lot of companies are pulling out of Iran, there's vague discussions of how Israel would bomb Iran's nuclear facilities, and the Pentagon admits it's updating its Iran warfighting scenario (just housecleaning, you see). What fantasy world does the Bush administration live in, where the sun is blue, up is down, and North Korea isn't the most pressing threat that the U.S. national security faces? Because I'd like to visit it. Must be nice.


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