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Bolton Slams Nork Nuke Deal

3:20 PM, Apr 5, 2007 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
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Today at the American Enterprise Institute, John Bolton, undersecretary of state for arms control before his stint as ambassador to the United Nations, slammed the February 13 agreement between the United States and North Korea. Here's the report from U.S. News:

"I think this deal will inevitably fail," Bolton said. "That day cannot come too soon in my view."

Asked by U.S. News why the administration had changed course in February and accepted that North Korea would receive some benefits before it had verifiably disarmed, Bolton said it was because of "the persistence of the State Department bureaucracy ... they've finally succeeded." Bolton added that he was particularly surprised that President Bush, with well-known views about human-rights violations in North Korea and terrorism, would agree to begin a process of removing North Korea from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism. He cited North Korea's abduction of perhaps 15 Japanese citizens in the 1970s and '80s as a matter that must be resolved before North Korea could shed its terrorism-sponsor status.

"The February 13 agreement let North Korea out of the corner it had put itself in," Bolton said. "Time works in North Korea's favor and against our interest."

Bolton argued that North Korea will not surrender its nuclear weapons and programs until there is regime change, saying that a real denuclearization agreement would constitute a "suicide pact" for the regime of Kim Jong Il.

Bolton argued that North Korea will not surrender its nuclear weapons and programs until there is regime change, saying that a real denuclearization agreement would constitute a "suicide pact" for the regime of Kim Jong Il.

Whatever opinion one has of Bolton, it's hard to argue against his interpretation of events. And it would be surprising if the left, as much as they love to hate Bolton, didn't support this interpretation--if only to deny the Bush administration credit for what is, in fact, a pathetically Clintonian deal. In other news "Pyongyang is likely to miss an agreed deadline for initial steps towards dismantling its nuclear programme" according to Wu Dawei, China's chief negotiator on North Korea.