Kim comes clean

posted at 7:56 am on June 26, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Kim Jong-Il has finally handed over his declaration of nuclear activities to China, which will share it with the rest of the six-nation partnership that has attempted for years to disarm North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.   The declaration included the plutonium development that the US had suspected Pyongyang of conducting in parallel with its uranium enrichment program.  Kim will also destroy its Yongbyon plant tomorrow in anticipation of the DPRK’s removal from the American list of terrorist-sponsoring states:

North Korea has submitted its long-awaited nuclear program declaration to China, as part of an agreement to remove itself from a U.S. list of states that sponsor terrorism.

North Korea handed over the declaration to officials from China, which led the six-nation talks that hammered out the conditions of the agreement.

The declaration is expected to contain details on North Korea’s plutonium stockpile. North Korea will also continue preparations to publicly dismantle a controversial nuclear reactor — key steps meant to assuage international concerns about nuclear activity in the usually secretive Communist nation.

The White House welcomed the declaration.

“Multilateral diplomacy is the best way to peacefully resolve the nuclear issue,” said White House spokeswoman Dana Perino. “North Korea should seize this moment of opportunity to restore its relationship with the international community.”

If the declaration is truly comprehensive, then the Bush administration has won a significant battle against proliferation.  Despite its reputation for unilateralism, the White House demonstrated tenacity in its multilateral approach while its critics insisted on direct talks with Pyongyang.  Bush understood that the previous Agreed Framework failed in large part because the previous administration cut China and Japan out of the loop, and China especially is necessary for keeping pressure on Kim.  Kim had no problem reneging on a deal with the US, but the addition of all the regional actors in this process forced him to negotiate honestly — even if that took a while.

The next step will be a review period that will last 45 days, during which inspectors will check the accuracy of the declaration.   Once verified, the six-party group will begin delivering food aid and energy supplies, both desperately needed by the DPRK.  Eventually, if all goes according to plan, the US will quarterback nuclear power plants of a type that does not produce material suitable for bombs, and will try to work towards a final resolution of the Korean War, which has never officially ended.

If all of this takes place, it shows that multilateral pressure can work to disarm a rogue nuclear state — but only as long as its leadership is rational.  Kim Jong-Il may be a strange man with strange habits, but he doesn’t believe that a Twelfth Imam would walk down a road to Pyongyang at the apex of an Armageddon to put him in charge of the world.  Kim wants to survive and remain in power himself, and the global community finally cut off all of the props for power as a means to get him to acquiesce.  Iran is a much different story, but if the world would act in a similar manner, rational actors in Tehran might rise to the occasion as well.

This looks like a tremendous victory for George Bush, perhaps the last one he’ll have as President.  When Iraq fully stabilizes, he will probably be in Crawford, having the last laugh.


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Comments

Yes, I’m ready to believe that Kim Il Jong has revealed everything, and will follow through on all his promises.

The Easter Bunny and the tooth fairy stand by, ready to monitor his compliance.

NeighborhoodCatLady on June 26, 2008 at 8:04 AM

The sound we hear from the MSM newsrooms over this is not enormous justified praise for this tremendous diplomatic success by the Bush Administration, thereby making the world a safer place … but rather the sounds of silence, and crickets chirping. … Now back to the Hussein Obama Worship.

DavePa on June 26, 2008 at 8:05 AM

Of course, the only reason he has waited so long to hand over the documents is because he was offended by Chimpy McHitlerburton’s “cowboy diplomacy”.

Talking: It’s Magic!

its vintage duh on June 26, 2008 at 8:06 AM

Hmmm… Didn’t something similar happen with the Norks in the waning days of the Clinton administration? Remember how that turned out?

BJ* on June 26, 2008 at 8:07 AM

Madeleine Albright is furious.

SouthernGent on June 26, 2008 at 8:12 AM

I’m betting we won’t see Condi celebrating this break thru with a champagne toast with Kim.

Alden Pyle on June 26, 2008 at 8:15 AM

Madeleine Albright is furious.

SouthernGent on June 26, 2008 at 8:12 AM

Heh, we’re on the same thought wave.

Alden Pyle on June 26, 2008 at 8:15 AM

Must have been the champagne and the basketball. Had to be.

hillbillyjim on June 26, 2008 at 8:16 AM

Kim wants to survive and remain in power himself, and the global community finally cut off all of the props for power as a means to get him to acquiesce. Iran is a much different story, but if the world would act in a similar manner, rational actors in Tehran might rise to the occasion as well.

When Kim’s access to Macao’s Banco Delta Asia was cut-off, he got belligerent (missiles towards Japan), but ultimately
folded rather quickly.

How did we pressure China to do that? What worked? Threatening to arm Japan or S. Korea with nuclear weapons?

How can we impose a similar threat on Russia and China in regard to Iran? Without their cooperation, I wonder if we are capable of of imposing tough enough economic sanctions.

JiangxiDad on June 26, 2008 at 8:19 AM

Trust, but VERIFY.

hillbillyjim on June 26, 2008 at 8:20 AM

Should have added:

Without access to the western banking system, can Bank Melli Iran survive?

JiangxiDad on June 26, 2008 at 8:21 AM

Wow, this is HUGE … that is, if he’s for real.

The Hard Way:

Taliban

Saddam

The Easy Way:

Ka’Daffy

Lil’ Kim

Tony737 on June 26, 2008 at 8:26 AM

Madeleine Albright is furious.

SouthernGent on June 26, 2008 at 8:12 AM

We’ll always have Paris…

Mr. Bingley on June 26, 2008 at 8:26 AM

The sound we hear from the MSM newsrooms over this is not enormous justified praise for this tremendous diplomatic success by the Bush Administration, thereby making the world a safer place … but rather the sounds of silence, and crickets chirping. … Now back to the Hussein Obama Worship.

DavePa on June 26, 2008 at 8:05 AM

How dare W would do multilateral diplomacy with success while demrats were demanding unilateral diplomacy? (BTW, Fox video guys should be fired for messing up with audio.)

Anita on June 26, 2008 at 8:27 AM

Maybe he was tired of being ronery?

Mr. Bingley on June 26, 2008 at 8:27 AM

This is the key to when and where to use military action – it depends entirely on the leaders of the rogue nation.

In the Ukraine, there was no need for military action because the leaders allowed for a democratic election.

In Kosovo, there was a need for military action because the leaders involved did not respond to diplomacy.

In Iraq, there was a need for military action because Saddam Hussein didn’t respond to diplomacy.

In Iran… Tough one. Are the Iranian leaders more rational than we think, or are they willing to attain mutually assured destruction vis-a-vis Israel to go down in the history books? Who knows.

Seixon on June 26, 2008 at 8:27 AM

This looks like a tremendous victory for George Bush, perhaps the last one he’ll have as President. When Iraq fully stabilizes, he will probably be in Crawford, having the last laugh.

It certainly does look like one. He’ll probably be in Heaven when Iraq fully stabilizes, but he’s made clear he expects that anyway. And you can be sure he’ll be looking for verification. Whether Obama would insist on it is quite the different story.

Madeleine Albright is furious.

SouthernGent on June 26, 2008 at 8:12 AM

Indeed. Would be stamping her pretty and dainty little feet, if they’d reach the ground that is. hehe

inviolet on June 26, 2008 at 8:28 AM

(a couple other fun posters.

Mr. Bingley on June 26, 2008 at 8:28 AM

oops. forgot the other “)”

Mr. Bingley on June 26, 2008 at 8:29 AM

How did we pressure China to do that? What worked? Threatening to arm Japan or S. Korea with nuclear weapons?

I dont care how nervous they get, Japan aint gonna take any nukes.

Squid Shark on June 26, 2008 at 8:33 AM

10 bucks says the MSM hails Kim for this and not Bush.

Diogenes of Sinope on June 26, 2008 at 8:40 AM

In Iran… Tough one. Are the Iranian leaders more rational than we think

Probably. The key is marginalizing Mahmoud rather than letting him marginalize the whole country. He’s getting pretty unpopular over there.

DrSteve on June 26, 2008 at 8:47 AM

I have a bad feeling about this.

Gaurav on June 26, 2008 at 8:50 AM

And for his ongoing brutal crimes against his people, his punishment will be…

Akzed on June 26, 2008 at 8:51 AM

WOW he can’t wait until Jan when BO is president and get everything he will get now without doing anything??

Stupid Stupid move on Kims part

BroncosRock on June 26, 2008 at 8:59 AM

verify and then trust in maybe ten years…..

patrick neid on June 26, 2008 at 8:59 AM

The US government should be able to land in N. Korea and investigate for themselves.

jencab on June 26, 2008 at 9:16 AM

Yeah. Right.

How much plutonium was shipped to Syria and Iran? Hmmmm?

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on June 26, 2008 at 9:28 AM

Lil Kimmy was confused. Clinton giveth and Bush taketh away.

volsense on June 26, 2008 at 9:30 AM

Lil Kim is going to destroy his brand new nuke facilitiy?

umm… okay…

I got a bridge I need to unload, any interested buyers?

Lawrence on June 26, 2008 at 9:33 AM

IF verified (and I strongly emphasize IF) then this could be a huge diplomatic victory. I hope it’s possible to get a positive result (a non-nuclear armed N. Korea) from this.

Yakko77 on June 26, 2008 at 9:34 AM

BUT the fat midget Elvis-impersonating pseudo-diety Kim Mentally-ill is STILL torturing & killing tens of thousands for worshiping someone besides him, namely God.
What will the world community do about that?

jgapinoy on June 26, 2008 at 9:44 AM

George W. Bush – the Man Who Ended the Korean War.

Heh, heh. There will be some angry old peaceniks when that starts showing up in the history books 20-30 years from now.

Dudley Smith on June 26, 2008 at 9:49 AM

I’m happy about this development, and it’s great for the world to have NK disarm.

These ‘talks’ make the world’s left happy, but how do they help the oppressed people in North Korea? I wish that something could be done about removing this tyrant, and setting his people free. Sigh.

Richard Romano on June 26, 2008 at 9:50 AM

Left unresolved, however, was North Korean abduction of Japanese citizens. The Japanese now have much less leverage with which to move Korea on this issue.

Socratease on June 26, 2008 at 10:06 AM

Iran is a much different story, but if the world would act in a similar manner, rational actors in Tehran might rise to the occasion as well.

This is why a “victory” in North Korea would have such a HUGE impact on the situation with Iran. It will embolden the liberal elements of that disgusting regime, and will prove that there is a way that does not involve the ostricizing and warring with Iran.

AlexB on June 26, 2008 at 10:07 AM

Seein’ is believin’. Trust and verify.

petefrt on June 26, 2008 at 10:11 AM

“When Iraq fully stabilizes, he will probably be in Crawford, having the last laugh.”

Last laugh”? Bad choice of words, AP. A victory, yes. But the victory goes to the soldiers who put their lives and limbs to help ensure Iraq get her freedom. Bush would be humbly pleased at the results.

Kokonut on June 26, 2008 at 10:12 AM

Well, let’s hope it pans out. It’d be great for the world if it does!

Bob's Kid on June 26, 2008 at 10:24 AM

It’s the old carrot and stick approach. But it only works if you’re willing to use the stick.

jdpaz on June 26, 2008 at 10:44 AM

1. If successful, that would make 2/3 of the Axis of Evil defanged. One more to go…

2. This is one of the nice side benefits of high oil prices. I bet Kim was worried about freezing his arse off this winter.

Clark1 on June 26, 2008 at 10:45 AM

Wow. When I noted the frequent comparisons of GWB with Harry Truman, I had no idea this might extend so literally to Bush actually finding a way to finish the war that the Russians started on Harry’s watch!

Seriously, though, this does sound rather more concretely positive than previous feints from Cecil B Demented. However, as a previous poster pointed out, I am powerfully curious about the true scope of the Norks’ dealings with Syria (etc.?). I find it difficult to believe that a wily little cur like Kim is not hiding an ace somewhere…

I await developments with great interest, but a double scoop-full of skepticism. If true, this would indeed make it far more challenging for near-future historians to maintain the structural integrity of the “worst president” narrative. The intellectual gymnastics required for that project should prove most entertaining indeed!

Noocyte on June 26, 2008 at 11:05 AM

I am interested in seeing exactly how much ‘acknowledgement’ regarding plutonium & uranium enrichment we are going to get in regards to proliferation.

Key countries like Russia continue to maintain the ludicrous notion that Iran is developing nuclear technologies for energy generation, this is also a view being held widely by the world’s population / public opinion. This is a view put forward by the USA’s own intelligence agencies last year in a glowing show of incompetence. This is the view put forth by the lackey El Baradei, superchief of the IAEA who’s mission it seems is to assist rogue regimes..

If Bush & Multilateral CO. want to send carrots to N Korea, then let N Korea stand up & tell the world publicly they have assisted Iran in developing a hidden, illicit, nuclear weapons program as late as this past september, including ballistic missile technologies & construction, including plutonium reactor technologies, staffing & construction, including uranium enrichment technologies obtained OUTSIDE the NPT which is highly illegal, and the Iranians are liers. Everyone whines about the lack of a smoking gun, if America lets this smoking gun get tossed in the river, well that will speak volumes.

If either N Korea or the Bush Administration will insist on hiding this information from the public, from the congress until recently, and from the world than this is nothing more than a monstrous appeasing failure dressed up as success. Bush has vowed that Iran will not be allowed to scurry its way to nukes & endanger the world, has vowed that rogue proliferation & wmd are the single biggest threat to the United States of America – Now is his big chance to prove it.

saus on June 26, 2008 at 11:23 AM

The Presidio of San Francisco.

The Presidio Trust Act calls for “preservation of the cultural and historic integrity of the Presidio for public use.” The Act also requires that the Presidio Trust be financially self-sufficient by 2013.

Surely funding can be made available.
And Pelosi gets a trophy.

Stephen M on June 26, 2008 at 11:25 AM

DO NOT BELIEVE HIM

He’s doing nuclear things UNDERGROUND

IN THE MINES

Dave Rywall on June 26, 2008 at 11:36 AM

BRAVO. But don’t trust him for a second.

I also had a good time looking up some of Jimmy Carter’s greatest hit…pieces.

tree hugging sister on June 26, 2008 at 12:16 PM

Maybe this had something to do with it? Why should Kim waste all that money on targets?

Cuffy Meigs on June 26, 2008 at 12:20 PM

So, that Israeli strike on Syria was really just for show, eh, George?

corona on June 26, 2008 at 12:26 PM

“This looks like a tremendous victory for George Bush” Ed

You really think so…. The message most around the world read out of the this is that if you are a despot and want to remain in power and get financial aid you need to build a nuclear arsenal. Bush identified Iran, Iraq and North Korea as the axis of evil and the country which give the US the finger and set off its own nuke gets the best deal out of the three. So what if they shut down their plutonium plant… THEY ALREADY PRODUCED ENOUGH FOR THEIR WEAPONS! Some victory Ed. I hate to think what constitutes defeat and capitulation to you. The US could have had all this six years ago when Kim wanted to negotiate but the US decided to walk away and wait until Korea had the weapons in order to give this little dictator respect.

Saying that Korea is somehow a more rational partner for negotiations than Iran is just as uncoupled from reality as painting the recent agreement as some sort of Bush victory. Where are your marbles!

lexhamfox on June 26, 2008 at 12:36 PM

Hmmm… Didn’t something similar happen with the Norks in the waning days of the Clinton administration? Remember how that turned out?

BJ* on June 26, 2008 at 8:07 AM

No. The Agreed Framework happen in 1994. And this is a process rather than perfunctory agreement with one party and only cursory oversight like the Clinton-Carter debacle.

baldilocks on June 26, 2008 at 1:04 PM

happen=happened

baldilocks on June 26, 2008 at 1:05 PM

Haliburton and Dick Cheney has an agreement to run a pipeline through PRNK will be the lefts cry in 5, 4, 3, 2

WoosterOh on June 26, 2008 at 1:07 PM

if all goes according to plan, the US will quarterback nuclear power plants of a type that does not produce material suitable for bombs

Foolishness and lies. We all know the U.S. can’t and won’t build a nuclear power plant. We lost the ability to build them like 30 years ago I think.

Now the French, those people can build a Nuclear power plant. If I were the DPRK I’d want someone who has some experience and ability to be building my nuclear power plants, not someone who quit even attempting to make them decades ago.

gekkobear on June 26, 2008 at 1:29 PM

In Kosovo, there was a need for military action because the leaders involved did not respond to diplomacy.

Did not respond to diplomacy? Clinton gave them an ultimatum to submit to NATO rule (not just Kosovo but all Serbia) or be bombed. They quite rightly refused this illegal and melgomaniacal demand whereupon Clinton, without the slightest hint of legality from either the UN or the U.S. Congress, began a massive bombing campaign against Serbia and the Serb forces in Kosovo.

What business does NATO have turning a Serbian province into an Albanian province? If NATO decided tomorrow that Jerusalem belonged to the Arabs and that Israel must give it up would military action be justified if Israel’s leaders “did not respond to diplomacy”?

aengus on June 26, 2008 at 1:29 PM

In Kosovo, there was a need for military action because the leaders involved did not respond to diplomacy.

Did not respond to diplomacy? Clinton gave them an ultimatum to submit to NATO rule (not just Kosovo but all Serbia) or be bombed. They quite rightly refused this illegal and melgomaniacal demand whereupon Clinton, without the slightest hint of legality from either the UN or the U.S. Congress, began a massive bombing campaign against Serbia and the Serb forces in Kosovo.

What business does NATO have turning a Serbian province into an Albanian province? If NATO decided tomorrow that Jerusalem belonged to the Arabs and that Israel must give it up would military action be justified if Israel’s leaders “did not respond to diplomacy”?

Sorry if this comment veers too far off-topic.

aengus on June 26, 2008 at 1:30 PM

Whoops! sorry…

aengus on June 26, 2008 at 1:36 PM

Was Jimmah Carter available for comment?

Mallard T. Drake on June 26, 2008 at 1:40 PM

G*d bless that inarticulate dummy from Crawford, the second coming of Harry S. Truman :-).

Shame I never voted for him. We just staved off a catastrophe worse than Iraq, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe and Sudan combined – especially with working missile defense (take that, leftists) and multilateral talks (take that, Kerry).

HotAirJosef on June 26, 2008 at 1:54 PM

especially with working missile defense

Which Obama has said he intends to dismantle.

aengus on June 26, 2008 at 2:11 PM

Kim has been known to be less than truthful in the past. Has John Bolton commented on this yet? I would not believe it is a good deal for us unless Bolton says it is.

dentalque on June 26, 2008 at 2:37 PM

If

ThePrez on June 26, 2008 at 3:02 PM

Film Actors Guild unavailable for comment.

Maquis on June 26, 2008 at 3:05 PM

Lots of well-deserved “ifs” about this change of events.

I’ll keep my fingers crossed that this all turns out to work… but my hopes aren’t too high.

ChePibe on June 26, 2008 at 3:15 PM

Wow, he comes to a personal faith in Obama and sees the light.

He has changed his dark ways by putting on the full armor of Barack…which includes the sword of deceit, so there is definitely something shady going on here.

Grafted on June 26, 2008 at 3:21 PM

What? Who will fill the much-coveted vacancy in the “Axis of Evil”? I wonder if George Jeebus Bush spoke directly to God again and received approval to do this….or was this just a way for old GB to shed his Texas ways before hitting the history books.

DanKenton on June 26, 2008 at 4:49 PM