February 13, 2007

Deal on North Korean Nukes

As any news source will tell you, there is a general agreement among the six parties to the appropriately named "Six Party Talks" with regard to the North Korean nuclear program.

The general outlines of the argeement are interesting: North Korea will give up their main nuclear plant (shut down, with inspections to insure this), the other five states will cough up about $400 million in cash and prizes fuel, food, and aid. All six agree to get back together again sometime in the future to talk about what North Korea will do with the few nuclear warheads they have around (those are not part of this agreement).


1. This deal is likely the best we could have hoped for. The North Koreans weren't going to give the nuclear program up for nothing; this way everybody got something.

2. This deal looks suspicously like the 1994 "Agreed Framework", which Bush rejected as wrong when he came to office. Seeing his adminstration dance around and explain how this is different ought to be entertaining.

3. The North Koreans have a history of breaking agreements. There isn't much of a guarantee they won't break this one.

4. This has proven to the world that a nuclear program is a valuable thing. You either get nukes (which makes you a regional power, at the very least), or you get paid to not have a program (Or, if you are India, you get both!!). That's win-win. I'll be curious to see if anyone else makes motions towards nukes in the next few years, as a result of this outcome.

5. If I'm Iran, no way in hell I'm giving up my program at this point. Not unless the US/EU coughs up megabucks (if North Korea is worth $400 million, how much is Iran worth?).

6. I'm in favor of non-proliferation (keeping nuclear weapons out of as many hands as possible), but I don't think its realistically possible to put this genie back in the bottle. It is inevitable that more countries will gain the technology to make bombs, and more countries will actually make them. I'd really love to see some attempt at creating a diplomatic framework for preventing them from being used as a backstop to non-proliferation. The Non-Proliferation Treaty has been around since 1968, but it won't hold forever (2 new nuclear power members in the last 10 years - North Korea and Pakistan - after gaining only 2 in the previous 30 years - Israel and India).

Posted by baltar at February 13, 2007 12:37 PM | TrackBack | Posted to International Affairs | Military Affairs

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