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US officials demanded anew that North Korea halt its nuclear programmes, saying any attempt by the Pyongyang government to "blackmail" the West into resuming oil shipments wouldfail. (GETTY IMAGE.)...





What is George going to do with North Korea?

North Korea continues to defy the Bushman and makes a mockery of the coming war in Iraq.  North Korea has the nuclear reactors and the ability to extract enough plutonium to make several nuclear bombs and they have the missiles technology to deliver the nuclear warheads.

Iraq has none of these nuclear capabilities of mass destruction and yet George is preparing to go to war against Iraq instead of North Korea.   We have to discount the stupid words of Donald Rumsfeld that the United States could simultaneously win wars in both Iraq and North Korea.  Of course that is if the Chinese do not enter a war in Korea as they did in the 1950's.  The Chinese are not hard line communists anymore but they are still not going to allow the United States to take over North Korea.

I find it real interesting that North Korea is creating all these problems at this particular time.  The United States is moving significant military personnel, machines and armaments into the Middle East and virtually ignoring North Korea.  The paradox is that the bigger threat is getting little or no reaction from the United States.

As they say, when things don't make sense, follow the money; or the oil.  

John WorldPeace
December 25,  2002

Tuesday, 24 December, 2002, 20:12 GMT

US rejects N Korea 'blackmail'

The United States has warned North Korea it will not give in to "blackmail" amid reports that Pyongyang has started repairing a controversial nuclear reactor.
The United Nations says Pyongyang has dismantled most of the key monitoring equipment at the Yongbyon site, designed to ensure the plant is not used for covert nuclear weapons production.

South Korean officials say technicians have started work on the reactor.

Pyongyang's decision to reactivate the facility is being seen as retaliation for a suspension of oil aid shipments in November - imposed by the US after North Korea reportedly admitted pursuing a new nuclear weapons programme.

"We are not anxious to escalate this problem but we are not going to be blackmailed," said State Department spokesman Philip Reeker.

"If North Korea is looking for US support, this is not the way to do it."

Old deal

North Korea insists it must restart the Yongbyon reactor to produce electricity because of the termination of the oil aid shipments.

It said it would try to resolve differences with the US but warned of "merciless punishment" if Washington continued its "provocation".

Experts say nuclear bombs could be produced from materials at the site, which was deactivated in a deal to end a 1994 stand-off between Washington and Pyongyang.

Under the deal, North Korea was to receive two light water reactors and 500,000 metric tonnes of fuel oil each year while the reactors were being built in exchange for a freeze on activities at its own nuclear reactors.

In return, North Korea was required to allow inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to ensure it has not hidden away any weapons-grade plutonium from the original reactors.


The IAEA says most of its equipment at the Yongbyon site has gone, including seals, cameras and sensors.
"Essentially our eyes and ears have been removed from that very large complex," spokesman Mark Gwozdecky told the BBC. Two inspectors remain at Yongbyon but have only low-level contacts.

Mr Gwozdecky said the IAEA now considered the situation so dangerous that North Korea was top of its list of priorities, along with the search for nuclear programmes in Iraq.

  North Korea has "a high level of nuclear capability", he said, and could extract plutonium which could then be used to make nuclear weapons.

"Without our safeguard measures in place, we cannot know whether they are using this material for peaceful purposes or for nuclear weapons," he said.

There are also concerns that work may be resumed at other dormant plants.

The five-megawatt Yongbyon reactor is far smaller than most commercial power plants, which are often around 3,000 megawatts, analysts say.

War of words

Pyongyang has said it will discuss problems with the US.

The White House insists it is seeking a peaceful solution to the crisis, although Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has warned it would be possible to fight North Korea even if forces were involved in a conflict in Iraq.

North Korea hit back on Tuesday with a tough statement from Army Minister Kim Il-chol, carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.

"If they, ignorant of their rival, dare provoke a nuclear war, the army and people... led by Kim Jong-il, the invincible commander, will rise up to mete out determined and merciless punishment to the US imperialist aggressors with the might of single-hearted unity more powerful than an A-bomb."

Dec. 26, 2002, 10:55AM

Alarm grows over North Korea's nuclear plans

Associated Press

SEOUL, South Korea -- South Korea's president said today that his nation would never tolerate North Korea's efforts to develop nuclear weapons, as U.N. monitors accused the North of engaging in "nuclear brinkmanship."

Pyongyang has moved 1,000 fresh fuel rods to a storage facility at its main nuclear reactor in Yongbyon, 50 miles north of the capital -- its latest step toward reactivating the facility in defiance of the U.N. nuclear watchdog and the United States.

The North insisted today that it was a "peace-loving" nation and is restarting the plant only to generate electricity, a claim rejected by the United States. Experts say that with plutonium from the facility, the North could produce nuclear weapons within months.

The new fuel rods have not yet been loaded into the reactor core at Yongbyon, said Mark Gwozdecky, spokesman for the International Atomic Energy Agency. He estimated that it would take "at least a month and maybe several months" to restart the 5-megawatt reactor, which has been mothballed since 1994.

In the past week, North Korea removed U.N. monitoring seals and cameras from its nuclear facilities, ignoring IAEA warnings. Among the facilities stripped of surveillance equipment was a plant for reprocessing spent fuel rods -- a process that produces plutonium -- and a storage room with 8,000 such rods.

U.S. and IAEA officials say the 8,000 spent rods hold enough weapons-grade plutonium to make several nuclear bombs.

The director of the Vienna-based IAEA, Mohamed ElBaradei, said today that the North was moving to restart the reprocessing facility, which he said was "irrelevant" to generating electricity.

In a statement, ElBaradei said that North Korea has no "legitimate peaceful use for plutonium."

"Moving toward restarting its nuclear facilities without appropriate safeguards, and toward producing plutonium raises serious nonproliferation concerns and is tantamount to nuclear brinkmanship," ElBaradei said.

The IAEA has reported no activity at the reprocessing plant. But "we're concerned that it might operate without our safeguards in place," Gwozdecky said.

South Korean President Kim Dae-jung told a special Cabinet meeting that the South "can never go along with North Korea's nuclear weapons development."

But he said the standoff should be resolved through dialogue. "We must closely cooperate with the United States, Japan and other friendly countries to prevent the situation from further deteriorating into a crisis," Kim said, in remarks released to the press by his spokeswoman, Park Sun-sook.

Kim, whose five-year term ends in February, was the architect of a policy of engagement with North Korea that resulted in a historic summit in 2000.

His successor, Roh Moo-hyun, has also advocated dialogue to ease nuclear tensions since he was elected to the nation's top job last week. Roh plans to exchange special envoys with the Bush administration in January to discuss the nuclear standoff.

U.S. officials have said that the power obtained from the Yongbyon reactor would be negligible.

State media in the North today defended Pyongyang's move to restart the facilities.

"The United States is going around trying to stir public opinion internationally, as though this is a sign of developing nuclear weapons," state-run Radio Pyongyang said in a commentary.

"Our measure has got nothing to do with plans to develop nuclear weapons. Our republic constantly maintains an anti-nuclear, peace-loving position," the commentary said. It was carried by South Korea's Yonhap news agency.

In a deal with the United States in 1994, North Korea froze its plutonium-based nuclear program in exchange for foreign energy supplies. Earlier this month, it decided to restart it after Washington and its allies halted oil shipments as punishment for revelations in October that North Korea had moved forward with a second nuclear weapons program that used enriched uranium.

North Korea says the dispute can be settled only if Washington agrees to sign a nonaggression treaty. Recent weeks have seen a sharp increase in anti-U.S. rhetoric warning that the situation on the Korean Peninsula was "on the brink of war."

The United States, which is preparing for a possible war against Iraq, is seeking a peaceful settlement to the issue but has ruled out any talks before the communist state gives up its nuclear ambitions.


How can we manifest peace on earth if we do not include everyone (all races, all nations, all religions, both sexes) in our vision of Peace?

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