Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Jimmy Carter on North Korea

Former President Jimmy Carter has an OP-Ed in today's New York Times about "Solving the Korean Stalemate, One Step at a Time."

Carter talks about his peace efforts during the Clinton administration that were abandoned by the current administration:

Responding to an invitation from President Kim Il-sung of North Korea, and with the approval of President Bill Clinton, I went to Pyongyang and negotiated an agreement under which North Korea would cease its nuclear program at Yongbyon and permit inspectors from the atomic agency to return to the site to assure that the spent fuel was not reprocessed. It was also agreed that direct talks would be held between the two Koreas.

The spent fuel (estimated to be adequate for a half-dozen bombs) continued to be monitored, and extensive bilateral discussions were held. The United States assured the North Koreans that there would be no military threat to them, that it would supply fuel oil to replace the lost nuclear power and that it would help build two modern atomic power plants, with their fuel rods and operation to be monitored by international inspectors. The summit talks resulted in South Korean President Kim Dae-jung earning the 2000 Nobel Peace Prize for his successful efforts to ease tensions on the peninsula.

But beginning in 2002, the United States branded North Korea as part of an axis of evil, threatened military action, ended the shipments of fuel oil and the construction of nuclear power plants and refused to consider further bilateral talks. In their discussions with me at this time, North Korean spokesmen seemed convinced that the American positions posed a serious danger to their country and to its political regime.

Responding in its ill-advised but predictable way, Pyongyang withdrew from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, expelled atomic energy agency inspectors, resumed processing fuel rods and began developing nuclear explosive devices.
For the record, John McCain's denunciations of Clinton today regarding Korea are also criticisms of the efforts of former President Jimmy Carter.

Somewhere here there was a major screwup in American foreign policy. The discerning will know whose policies promote peace and whose promote conflict.

1 comment:

grandma1 said...

Bill Richardson, Governor of NM was on Today yesterday, saying the same thing. The North Koreans have made several trips to NM. I think they are trying to get him to help them with Bush. Bush is so scared that Richardson or Carter can help that he is running as hard as he can the other way.