Thursday, October 17, 2002

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SO MUCH FOR THE NORTH KOREA ANALOGY: Two weeks ago, I posted some grafs on how the example of North Korea posed problems for pro-war and anti-war positions on Iraq. Well, after yesterday's revelation that North Korea has been actively developing nuclear weapons, the problems for the pro-war position have pretty much evaporated, while posing much more acute problems for the anti-war position. North Korea was considered to be an example of how patient dialogue, multilateral consultations, and inducements could achieve what coercive diplomacy could not. Clearly, that has turned out not to be true. For an excellent summary of North Korean noncompliance with the 1994 Framework agreement, go to the IAEA's informative web page.

Perhaps this will also debunk the notion that North Korea was engaging in true reforms, when what it was really doing was engaging in a clumsy PR offensive. For an example of how clumsy, click here.

UPDATE: Geithner Simmons makes similar points. And this event has brought out the neocon in &c.

ANOTHER UPDATE: InstaPundit thinks the North Koreans came clean because they don't want to be the next Iraq. Sorry, Glenn, that dog won't hunt. They didn't just admit to the weapons program; they also went out of their way to declare the 1994 Framework Agreement null and void. The DPRK leadership is just as insular and ill-informed about the world as Saddam Hussein, so ascribing "rational" motives can be dangerous. My guess, however, is that they were honest for the opposite reason -- they know the U.S. is preoccupied with Iraq and are trying to exploit the situation. They think the administration will try to buy off Pyongyang to keep them quiet when they move against Iraq. Based on the initial U.S. response, they may be right, though I strongly suspect the Chinese will not be pleased about these developments. This Washington Post story suggests the same.

posted by Dan on 10.17.02 at 04:56 PM