Monday, September 19, 2005 N.Korea agrees to give up its nuclear programme

*Finally, the breakthrough arrives*

One day, I'll wake up and find that the headlines reads, "Peaceful Aliens arrive, we're not alone in the universe, world peace breaks out." But in the meantime, I'll gladly take news of this sort.

An update from yestersday's post about Iran, it looks like the other holdout has finally 'given in' and thus North Korea has accepted to give up its nuclear program in return for aid, energy assistance and the gods know what else was promised by the other five nations.

So it looks like the pundits were right after all. North Korea was holding out for the best deal it could get and we can all happily get on with our lives again. But just one tiny little problem; we had a similar situation in 1994 where Clinton apparently negotiated a deal of a similar sort i.e. in return for a renouncement of nuclear weapons, they would provide energy and help build civilian light water nuclear plants (which cannot be used for weapon purposes). And they effectively renanged on the deal which led us to this current situation in the first place.

Are we not simply telling North Korea that we can be blackmailed at any time? Perhaps not. Unlike the '94 deal, this was done on a 6 party basis. If North Korea backs out of this one, he would not simply be slapping USA across its face but also China, Japan, Russia and South Korea and might actually lead to a very effective sanction and blockade regime (or so one hopes). This was one of the reasons why Bush did not want a bilateral agreement as was the original hope of North Korea. Pressure by China and Russia is vital not just to the formulation of this agreement but its enforcement mechanism as well.

Well, at least that's one such problem solved, though ensuring that the deal is maintained and the deal is kept is still on the burner. But for the now, let's enjoy the deal and we'll worry about problems should they actually arise.




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