U.S. has set many precedents for n. Korea;s actions

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Fri Jan 10 23:13:45 MST 2003

Published on Friday, January 10, 2003 by the BBC
North Korea Follows Bush's Lead
by Daniel Plesch

North Korea has decided to withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation
Treaty, invoking its legal right to do so. The move increases international
tension and the risk of Japan reconsidering its position on nuclear weapons.

But it is in line with the new approach to global security adopted by the
Bush administration.
President George W Bush has either withdrawn from or expressed his
opposition to implementing a number of key global arms control agreements.

These include:
the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty;
the Biological Weapons Convention;
the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty;
and the process of strategic arms reductions with Russia.
The treaty signed with Russia - the Sort Treaty - is a treaty without
content and has no operative provisions.

At the same time as withdrawing from these treaties, the Bush administration
initially withdrew from the political process with North Korea designed by
former President Bill Clinton, and which had rolled back but not entirely
removed North Korea's nuclear and missile programmes.
'Double standard'

President Bush's policy has swept away the achievements of decades in
building global controls on the worst of weapons.

Having been persuaded to resume the diplomatic process, Mr Bush decided in
January 2002 to include North Korea in the "axis of evil", a decision that
that country interpreted as tantamount to a declaration of war.

In these circumstances the North Korean regime would appear to have nothing
to lose in building a weapon that the West has long declared as having a
deterrent effect.

It appears that North Korea obtained substantial help from Pakistan in its
recent nuclear activities including assistance with a highly enriched
uranium factory. Pakistan's apparent help to Pyongyang came despite its
vaunted alliance with the US in Washington's so-called war on terror. The US
was apparently unable to stop - or even learn about - Islamabad's rumoured
support of North Korea's nuclear programme until it was too late.

Washington turned a blind eye to Pakistan's nuclear programme despite the
close links between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and the oft repeated
statements from leading Pakistani nuclear officials that they see their bomb
as an Islamic weapon.

If there is any programme that might be associated with Osama Bin Laden then
the Pakistani one has to top the list.

President Bush and his advisers have pursued a policy of military options
against proliferation and yet in reality even baulked at seizing a cargo of
Scuds en route to Yemen. In the meantime they have presided over the
collapse of sanctions on India and Pakistan for their nuclear testing and
have accelerated North Korea nuclear crisis. By any objective measure their
policy has been ineffective and has made the world situation more unstable.

Their own rhetoric and policies of pre-emptive strikes - perhaps with
nuclear weapons - encourage other states to assume that they live in a world
of nuclear anarchy and to act accordingly.
President Bush's policy has swept away the achievements of decades in
building global controls on the worst of weapons and replaced an effective
policy with nothing more than bombast.
Copyright © 2003 BBC

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