<##IMAGE##> On December 20, he made another wrong allegations. At a news conference, Bush stated that he would stand on “continuing the six party talks with North Korea to convince Kim Jong Il to give up his weapons systems”. Stressing that “the strategy of bilateral relationship” with Kim Jong Il did not work in the past, the President blamed Kim for breaking the agreement by enriching uranium while the U.S. thought it had agreed to a plan that would work. But these allegations are factually incorrect.
Under the 1994 Agreed Framework between Washington and Pyongyang, North Korea agreed to freeze its graphite moderated reactors and related facilities in exchange for U.S. assurances for the provision of two light water reactors (LWRs) by 2003 and for the supply of heavy oil as alternative energy at an annual rate of 500,000 tons pending completion of the first LWR unit.
The Agreed Framework further stipulated that both sides would “work together” for peace and security on a nuclear-free Korean peninsula. For this purpose, Washington would provide “formal assurances” to Pyongyang “against the threat or use of nuclear weapons by the U.S”. On its part, Pyongyang would “consistently take steps to implement the North-South Joint Declaration on the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula” and would “engage in North-South dialogue”.
Clinton administration officials repeatedly confirmed that North Korea was in compliance with its obligations under the Agreed Framework. The U.S., however, was way behind the schedule to build two LWRs by 2003. Its shipments of heavy oil to North Korea were often delayed. And, most importantly, it never gave its formal assurances to Pyongyang against the threat or use of nuclear weapons.
Although the existence of such projects may not be totally ruled out, especially in the face of U.S. backpedaling of the Agreed Framework, the alleged North Korea’s clandestine uranium enrichment activities still remain a mere unilateral U.S. accusation. North Korea is strongly denying Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly’s assertion that Pyongyang officials confessed to the existence of secret uranium enrichment programs. Despite requests by other participants in the Six Party Talks, the U.S. has yet to provide a firm evidence to back up its assertions.
Meanwhile, we notice a visible advance of neo-cons in the new Bush administration due to be launched in a month. The recent enactment of so-called North-Korea human rights act would obviously harden American pressure on the North. Japanese government is also going to join the U.S. in adopting harsher stand on North Korea.
Against such background, we are concerned over the fact that President Bush is employing for North Korea the same tactic of false accusations, which he employed for Iraq to build up a pretext for eventual military action.
Is Bush telling a new lie in order to stage another unprovoked invasion of a country?