Diplomacy Six-Party Talks WMD

The Not-Quite-Agreed Framework

[Originally, “Hill:  We Have a Deal.”]

[Update:   I’ve pasted the full text of this “agreement” onto the bottom of this post.  Thanks to a reader.]

Uh oh.

The U.S. envoy to talks on nuclear program said Tuesday that a tentative agreement had been reached on initial moves for the communist nation’s disarmament. “I’m encouraged by this that we were able to take a step forward on the denuclearization issue,” Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill said.

He declined to give details of the draft, but said it outlined specific commitments for Pyongyang and would set up working groups to implement those goals to begin meeting in about a month.

Hill said the draft still needed to be reviewed by the home governments of the six countries at the talks, but he was positive about its contents.

“We feel it’s an excellent draft, I don’t think we’re the problem,” a weary-looking Hill told reporters after a fifth day of negotiations at the talks in Beijing that lasted more than 16 hours. [AP]

Any wagers on how long this one holds?  The last one didn’t make it for an entire day

My guess is this thing will last slightly longer, only to unravel sometime between the New Hampshire Primary and the Republican Convention.  This strongly smells of a  “handoff strategy.”  How ironic if Bush ends up handing this problem back to the same people who handed it to him in the first place.

And how sad for the people of North Korea that we’re prepared to  bail out a hideously brutal regime that was showing  tangible and accelerating signs of bankruptcy and collapse.

Afterthought:   Oddly enough, our hopes are now invested in Kim Jong Il being dumb enough to renege on this  deal publicly.  Could  he be that stupid?  Well, yes, he could.  But my greater fear is that he’ll pretend  to agree, knowing that will buy him time.  In any event, I’ll leave my mind slightly ajar until I see what the North Koreans will have to do, when they’ll have to do it, and how irreversible it will be.

Update:   Having read Richardson’s post and this article, I don’t think it’s a deal at all.  Pretty much everything — including the North’s nuclear stockpiles, its uranium program, light water reactors, and the amount of Dane Geld energy aid it will receive — all are left unresolved.  Nor is it clear  whether we’ve lifted any blocks on North Korea’s laundered money.  I’d say that if we deliver Kilowatt One on those amorphous terms, we can safely declare that the Administration caved.  The critics will say that we could have had the same deal in 2002 by overlooking the same lies we’re agreeing to overlook now.  Sadly, they will be right.  Our only hope is that this will dissolve on contact with higher authorities in Washington and Tokyo.

Update 2:   Looks like I’m on record hating this thing even before John Bolton.

Update 3:   Agreed Framework II:

In essence, if the North agrees to the deal, a country that only four months ago conducted its first nuclear test will have traded away its ability to produce new nuclear fuel in return for immediate energy and other aid. It would still hold on to, for now, an arsenal that American intelligence officials believe contains more than a half-dozen nuclear weapons or the fuel that is their essential ingredient.

The accord also leaves unaddressed the fate of a second and still-unacknowledged nuclear weapons program that the United States accused North Korea of buying from the Pakistani nuclear engineer Abdul Qadeer Khan in the late 1990s, in what appeared to be an effort to circumvent a nuclear freeze the North negotiated in 1994 with the Clinton administration.  [NYT]

Elsewhere, the article speaks of the “permanent disablement” of the Yongbyon reactor within 60 days, which seems inconsistent. 

Congress will have to agree to this awful deal.  I suspect it will; I hope it won’t.   Hill’s explanation of  why North Korea will comply this time just made me shake my head:

If they renege on this,” said one senior administration official, who would not speak on the record because the deal had not been signed, “they are sticking their fingers into the eyes of the Chinese.

Yeah.  That would be the same Chinese who kept right on giving them aid and trading without restriction after Resolution 1718.  What this deal means is that we’ll be talking about North Korea’s nukes  for years.  Former Clinton official Gary Samore summed it up pretty accurately:

“This is a freeze with a promise to negotiate subsequent disarmament,” said Mr. Samore. “And a North Korean promise to negotiate later is pretty worthless.

If this thing is not completely worthless by the time of the New Hampshire primary, it will only be because everyone wants to pretend that it’s not.  The Bush Administration will have its false victory, and the Dems tell them how much sooner they could have had an equally false one.  The lesson for Ahmedinejad and Chavez will be to make their deals just as election season begins, when American presidents tend to look for a deal — any deal, no matter how facially defective  — to cover their exits. 

Like Richardson, I suspect that there are many “points of failure,” and that at least  one of them will split wide open promptly.  Unfortunately, I think this Administration is perfectly ready to overlook multiple failures.  After seven years in power, it never really managed to make up its mind about which Korea policy it was really pursuing.

[Update:   Full Text below; fisk away.]More...

The Third Session of the Fifth Round of the Six-Party Talks was held in Beijing among the People’s Republic of China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation and the United States of America from 8 to 13 February 2007.
The Parties held serious and productive discussions on the actions each party will take in the initial phase for the implementation of the Joint Statement of 19 September 2005. The Parties reaffirmed their common goal and will to achieve early denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner and reiterated that they would earnestly fulfill their commitments in the Joint Statement. The Parties agreed to take coordinated steps to implement the Joint Statement in a phased manner in line with the principle of “action for action”.
II. The Parties agreed to take the following actions in parallel in the initial phase:
1. The DPRK will shut down and seal for the purpose of eventual abandonment the Yongbyon nuclear facility, including the reprocessing facility and invite back IAEA personnel to conduct all necessary monitoring and verifications as agreed between IAEA and the DPRK.
2. The DPRK will discuss with other parties a list of all its nuclear programs as described in the Joint Statement, including plutonium extracted from used fuel rods, that would be abandoned pursuant to the Joint Statement. 
3. The DPRK and the US will start bilateral talks aimed at resolving pending bilateral issues and moving toward full diplomatic relations. The US will begin the process of removing the designation of the DPRK as a state-sponsor of terrorism and advance the process of terminating the application of the Trading with the Enemy Act with respect to the DPRK. 
4. The DPRK and Japan will start bilateral talks aimed at taking steps to normalize their relations in accordance with the Pyongyang Declaration, on the basis of the settlement of unfortunate past and the outstanding issues of concern. 
5. Recalling Section 1 and 3 of the Joint Statement of 19 September 2005, the Parties agreed to cooperate in economic, energy and humanitarian assistance to the DPRK. In this regard, the Parties agreed to the provision of emergency energy assistance to the DPRK in the initial phase. The initial shipment of emergency energy assistance equivalent to 50,000 tons of heavy fuel oil (HFO) will commence within next 60 days. 
The Parties agreed that the above-mentioned initial actions will be implemented within next 60 days and that they will take coordinated steps toward this goal.
III. The Parties agreed on the establishment of the following Working Groups (WG) in order to carry out the initial actions and for the purpose of full implementation of the Joint Statement:
1.          Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula
2.          Normalization of DPRK-US relations
3.          Normalization of DPRK-Japan relations
4.          Economy and Energy Cooperation
5.          Northeast Asia Peace and Security Mechanism
The Working Groups will discuss and formulate specific plans for the implementation of the Joint Statement in their respective areas. The WGs shall report to the Six-Party Heads of Delegation Meeting on the progress of their work. In principle, progress in one WG shall not affect progress in other WGs. Plans made by the five WGs will be implemented as a whole in a coordinated manner.
The Parties agreed that all WGs will meet within next 30 days.
IV. During the period of the Initial Actions phase and the next phase – which includes provision by the DPRK of a complete declaration of all nuclear programs and disablement of all existing nuclear facilities, including graphite-moderated reactors and reprocessing plant – economic, energy and humanitarian assistance up to the equivalent of 1 million tons of heavy fuel oil (HFO), including the initial shipment equivalent to 50,000 tons of HFO, will be provided to the DPRK.
The detailed modalities of the said assistance will be determined through consultations and appropriate assessments in the Working Group on Economic and Energy Cooperation.
V. Once the initial actions are implemented, the Six Parties will promptly hold a ministerial meeting to confirm implementation of the Joint Statement and explore ways and means for promoting security cooperation in Northeast Asia.
VI. The Parties reaffirmed that they will take positive steps to increase mutual trust, and will make joint efforts for lasting peace and stability in Northeast Asia. The directly related parties will negotiate a permanent peace regime on the Korean Peninsula at an appropriate separate forum.
VII. The Parties agreed to hold the Sixth Round of the Six-Party Talks on 19 March 2007 to hear reports of WGs and discuss on actions for the next phase.




  1. please explain, handed to them by previous administration, didn’t they (the previous) have the plutonium under locks and under inspection, a sitution that was not handed to them by Bush 41? 41 watche the construction and start up ot the 5MW reactor.

    42 acted ( got a deal) and had his deal taken apart by 43 (please don’t retort that KJI took it apart himself by developing an enrichment program) who it now seems was acting on intell from aluminium tubes meant for centrifuges. It now seems that intel was cooked. Even David Kay says so. The plutonium was once locked up, safe. Now thanks to some Bush 43 meddling, it is in some cave in NK and will never be found. And the uranium enrichment, starting to look a lot like those Iraqi supposed WMD…

    And why is this admin, very hawkish admin, caving like you say? Perhaps there is no better solution right now than putting humpty dumpty back together again.

    Am I right people????


  2. OK — Let me see if I can untangle your grammar correctly.

    Plutonium program was frozen but subject to restart at any moment they felt like evicting the IAEA.

    Strong possibility that NK had already tested its first nuke as early as 1998, meaning the US had no choice but to consider NK a nuclear state. That fact sticks with me; I was serving in Korea at the time.

    A second, undisclosed uranium program that the Clinton Administration knew about and was ignoring. Some of the uranium hexafluoride was sold to Libya via AQ Khan. Pakistan has admitted its role, as had North Korea at one point, according even to noted dove Jack Pritchard.

    Chem, bio, and missile programs proceeding with no restraint on development or proliferation.

    “Intel cooked:” The intel was wrong about stockpiles, not wrong about programs, and Kay did not say that it was cooked. He said that the intel community owes Bush an explanation for getting it wrong. You’re either lying, have no idea what the truth is, or don’t care. It’s also a non-sequitur to this discussion. A common refrain by those who oppose all US efforts to restrain proliferation, because the idea of dead Americans appeals to them (particularly common among European free-riders). Same to you.

    Why are they caving? I’m baffled, personally. I think one side within our own State Department prevailed in an internecine struggle. Maybe they persuaded the USG that a NK collapse was more trouble than they could handle. Most likely, they chose the path of least political resistance.

    Either way, I won’t defend this Administration for signing this deal, and if I did, you would rightly call me a hypocrite. This Administration appears to have never really made up its mind at all. No policy was better than an incredibly bad one for 6 years, but for the last year, we had North Korea by its economic windpipe.


  3. Why is the admin caving?

    I think in the short-term it comes down to a blame game.
    I suspect that they know NK is going to renege and blame the US however they can. The Bush admin will at least be able to credibly say that it tried and that NK is the true culprit.
    Considering how successful the left has been in labeling the US (particularly the Republican Party) as a pariah, this has damaged the USA’s ability to address the NK nuke issue in an effective manner with out being portrayed as some war mongering, imperialist, predatory hegemon.


  4. Stop me if I’m wrong … but wasn’t the reason that there was a ‘deal’ in September of 2005 was because that there was no ‘single-language’ document actually generated but it was left to the individual parties to put any interpretation on it that would fit their particular agendas … and that’s why it lasted as long as it did (24 hours).

    With the gaping holes so apparent in what we are seeing in this most recent ‘understanding’, I can’t see how it will be much different.

    Ground Hog Day … forever!

    Geez, I feel an Excedrin headache coming on.


  5. If we lift one significant sanction or ship one load of heavy fuel oil for NK mothballing some nuke material, we will be as stupid as we were back in 1994 – no, we will be more stupid, because we know how 1994 turned out and we have seen how pathetically weak NK is – thus knowing how desperately NK needs any kind of aid it can get.

    Blaming this or that administration for propping up Kim Jong Il’s regime based on which is republican which is democrat is pointless.

    About as pointless as giving aid to NK for them mothballing some nuke material.


  6. Thanks for thinking I want dead US soldiers, any other assumptions you would like to make? Yeesh

    Did Clinton ignore the HEU program, well I would call it prioritizing, the HEU thing was 15 to 20 years away from fruition and the supposed smoking HEU gun (tubes) were not enough to prove that there was movement on the HEU program. Chems, missiles and bios are bad, but they pale in comparison to what nukes can do.

    So, you make sure the most dangerous and imminent threat (the plutonium and the thing that makes it) is under wraps. But we busted up the deal and got the inspectors kicked out on stovepiped intel. That’s a fact jack.

    And who the F*ck is against restraining proliferation? There are a lot of least worst choices to be made in this situation and freezing the goddamn reactor is the logical first step. The deluded idea that NK was on its last legs by our mighty hand is delusional, knowing full well that China would always step in (with South Korea) to prop the regime up no matter how bad the US was putting a choke hold on it. There is nothing I would like to see better than the NK regime dissapearing and watching KJI join Saddam in Hell. Getting to that point while having the least amount of people die is everyone’s concern.

    David Albright (who went to NK last week and was part of the negotiating team) is also increasingly coming to the idea that there was no activity around a dormant centrifuge program, and in 2002, there were a lot of bad or coerced analysts in the intel community (see Iraq). So we busted up a freeze that had a timetable for complete dismantlement. We are now looking at doing the same freeze with NK now WITH Nukes in hand with hidden and never to be found fissile material vs their previous weaker position of no nukes and known wherabouts of fissile material.

    Your love of Europeans is touching

    I was also stationed in the ROK in 1998, you moral high ground doesn’t do it for me.


  7. “freezing the goddamn reactor is the logical first step”

    And if the Norks actually get around to doing this, how much more is the US going to have to fork over to get more? The price tag will soon be even higher than it is for this so-called deal.


  8. Sorry, your writing was just so bad, I couldn’t believe you were actually a native speaker.

    Most of your own questions would be answered if you follow the links. The rest will be readily answered when North Korea cheats, threatens, and proliferates again. A freeze won’t change that. Time will tell.


  9. slightly OT… but what is this?


    are they trenches/pits with prisoners?

    note the bottom one – half full.
    the one above – two bunches separated
    next one up – full
    and the one at the top – full

    note the treadmarks/paths in the snow.

    are we seeing mass execution pits , or mass burial pits because of famine?? anyone care to throw their two cents of speculation into what we are seeing here.


  10. My God.

    I’m not prepared to draw firm conclusions based on the resolution that we have, but I’m racking my brain to draw any other plausible conclusion. What I do see is a lot of long pits, some of them half-filled with white objects (or objects wrapped in white). The length is about the same as the width of the car tracks.

    Note previous credible reports of mass burials of this kind.

    Quite obviously, I’d like a few more readers’ opinions on what this could be. I will do another post on this.


  11. note the irregularities around the edges of the pits – if you look closely thats roughly the size of a human shadow… see how the edges of some of the pits have a serrated/irregular outline, which would be consistent with a mass of prisoners in line along the edges prior to execution. or maybe workers/soldiers filling up the pits with famine victims? either way it looks as if there’s some sort of human actitivity going on.


  12. ok, some points to make , that would make it consistent with a mass burial and/or mass execution series of pits.

    1. the car track to the left. it comes OFF the main road , across the field and heads for the second pit. note how there are no roads leading directly to the pits.

    2. now that we have a car track reference, that infers the other “lines” joining the pits together would be consistent with prisoners walking in single file towards each pit

    3. the bottom two pits have single file tracks going east and south east joining up with the complex of buildings and road to the east/southeast of the pits.

    possible conjecture:

    the prisoners were marched single file to each of the pits , coming from the east , south east. meanwhile, the execution squad arrive by truck from the west (the car tracks).

    secondly, we probably are witnessing an execution in process since the ground in covered in snow , which implies that the tracks are relatively fresh – and secondly. there is only the ONE car track going into the pits. we dont see one coming out.

    again, this is just conjecture purely based on that resolution. i really do hope that Google get their hands on higher res images soon.


  13. An excellent background document was generated by the Nautilus Institute: “South Korea’s Power Play at the Six-Party Talks” (21 July 05)

    The following verbatim extractions should be reflected upon:


    “… in 1994 … the North Koreans demanded during negotiations with the United States that it be provided with refined oil product and light water reactors from the United States. The United States wanted to send coal and no reactors. They settled on heavy fuel oil (HFO, or ‘liquid coal’) simply because the DPRK had one power plant designed to use it; and on 2 gigawatts of light water reactors to be built in the DPRK. Both choices proved to be counter-productive …

    HFO proved hard for the North Koreans to absorb, as only one large power plant in the country was designed to use HFO as a full-time fuel. The HFO sent to the DPRK also contained significant amounts of sulfur and other impurities that have reportedly accelerated the corrosion of heat exchangers in DPRK power plants designed to use coal, thereby reducing their generating efficiency (and capacity). Much HFO ended up in trenches because the DPRK had no way to store it or use it.

    … Moreover, even if the reactors had been completed, the North Korean grid could not then nor could it ever have supported these two reactors, as the grid was far too small to run such large and potentially hazardous units. During the negotiations of the 1994 Agreed Framework, North Korean grid experts told their leadership to not accept any reactors larger than (at most) 400 megawatts. …”


    This paper goes on to make some ‘ballpark’ estimates on the costs associated with Seoul’s June 1995 unilateral proposal to Pyongyang.

    Capital costs: $3.44 billion
    Operation costs: $0.84 billion/year

    But with the following proviso:

    “We believe that these rough estimates are likely low estimates that do not capture much of the real cost of construction in the DPRK environment. …”

    This is something of an understatement. Does anyone recall when the North Korean workers at the KEDO construction site actually went on strike (yup … a strike … in North Korea) in October 2000 and had to be replaced by 207 workers that were imported from Uzbekistan in March 2001? … No, ya just can’t make this stuff up!


  14. I have never heard reports of North Korea shooting people in such large groups. The usually do a few at a time, tied to posts.

    The mass famine burial explanation is more plausible. I’ll post in a few. I ask that you have your comments for there.


  15. joshua -> pretty sure i read about mass executions somewhere during that famine uprising. remember, when some in the army revolted and marched on pyongyang??

    although , granted – it could be famine related since we dont have high enough resolution.


  16. Right. But please withhold these comments for the on-topic post to follow. I would like to have a separate place for that discussion, because I think the image does merit further discussion.


  17. zythum’s line of argument only makes sense – if you agree that North Korea’s unmothballed nuke reactor was going to churn out dozens of nukes a year and then sell them on the open market.

    That is the only justification for giving the North regime-sustaining aid for mothballing the material.

    The line about “that had a timetable for complete dismantlement” is laughable and probably announces that who is in the White House is more important to the analysis than the nuke accords themsevles…

    Elsewhere, intel (by more than the US) has been saying since the early 1990s that NK probably had 1 or 2 nuclear weapons already. Whatever Pyongyang added during this recent nuke crisis is significant, but it is not significant enough to warrant propping the regime up (as we did in the 1990s) to keep material mothballed.

    (We’ve also heard since the early 1990s that North Korea probably has the small pox virus on ice as well —- and I’d say if they do, that is a good bit worse than nuclear weapons….)

    North Korea wants nukes as a deterant. Period.

    It already had a siginficant deterent with its conventional forces with the WMDs as icing on the cake.

    It probably had nukes before the 2000s.

    It has been using the “frozen” nuke material as a negociating tool to get and/or keep regime-sustaining aid from outsiders — without making any real changes in what it is as a nation and how it operates in the global community.

    It would be interesting to know how things would have worked out if we changed some of the variables….

    So, you make sure the most dangerous and imminent threat (the plutonium and the thing that makes it) is under wraps. But we busted up the deal and got the inspectors kicked out on stovepiped intel.

    We got the inspectors kicked out. Bringing up the alternative nuke processing program got the inspectors kicked out. It was our fault they were kicked out and the program unmothballed….

    And a quick hit before I forget it again…

    It now seems that intel was cooked.

    So, I guess Pyongyang didn’t admit to it?

    Anyway, North Korea’s actions the past 5 years has been the fault of Bush…..

    It would be interesting to ask God to play a video for us about what would have happened in the 2000s if the alternative nuke program had not been discussed…

    I think it is pretty safe to say the “timetable” for dismantling the nuke programs would have been broken all to hell and back no matter what —- just as it was from 1994 to 2002….

    But, what about after 9/11???

    What would seeing the US move against Iraq and threaten Iran have done?

    Would labelling NK part of the axis of evil have been enough for Pyongyang to justify unmothballing the nuke material?

    I have a strong hunch zythum’s side would still have argued it was all Bush’s fault — that saying “axis of evil” was good enough justification for unpacking the nuke material.

    And I’m not saying that just to be saying it. It is important.

    We can chalk this latest deal up to the zythums…

    We “had to do something”, right?

    The current situation was intolerable, right? All those nukes going to be churned out like sticks of butter and sold abroad and so on…

    That “most dangerous and imminent threat” had to be addressed, and the best way to address it was getting NK to put on ice its nuke material —- so it couldn’t make more nukes but could keep a negociating tool handy…

    If the threat was so imminent…..if the most likely or probable result of unpacking the nuke material was selling nukes on the open market, I might have concluded blowing the regime off the face of the earth was a better (though costly) solution…

    But, what about the axis of evil thing? I’d give a guess that the axis of evil thing coupled with the US moving against Afghanistan and Iraq had more to do with North Korea unpacking its material and kicking out inspectors than mentioning the alternative system…..That does kind of make sense, no?

    I mean, accusing NK of having a hidden nuke program was SO terrible, it was only natural Pyongyang would kick out inspectors and stuff? So natural, it is Bush’s fault?

    I guess if we are going to think like this, we would say calling NK part of an axis of evil was too harsh a blow, because it was only going to piss Kim Jong Il off. Maybe if we had not mentioned the alternative nuke program, but we did say “axis of evil” and then invaded Iraq, the inspectors would have been kicked out anyway…?

    So, maybe all this line of thinking is saying we should have gone out of our way not to offend or piss Pyongyang off, so they would keep that nuke material (the one we knew about) under lock and key.

    And keeping that under lock and key was what we absolutely had to do….

    …..even if it meant we pumped large amounts of aid into the North at a time when millions of its own people were starving to death (and being starved to death)…

    because, avoiding that “most dangerous and imminent threat” as we did in the 1990s ——— sure as HELL gave NK exactly the kind of stuff it needed to stay alive during by far the worst test of the regime since the Korean War.

    We can argue whether or not the idea “that NK was on its last legs by our mighty hand” is delusional – with the time period of “last legs” being now.

    But, we sure as shit stinks know that it was on its last legs in the 1990s.

    But, thankfully, we averted the worst case scenerio imminent threat by giving NK large amounts of what it needed to survive…

    And now, we are about to do the same thing.


  18. I don’t like the deal either, it doesn’t address the human rights abuses in North Korea and it probably would help the North Korean government survive, where the goal should be to make it fall.


  19. “shut down and seal for the purpose of eventual abandonment the Yongbyon nuclear facility, including the reprocessing facility”
    So is this going to be irreversible? And what’s the time-table? If it is going to be irreversible, then that is a good deal. (I’d never think NK would do it)
    The USA could always stop sending aid later on if NK stops short of getting rid of it’s nukes and everything else. We would have at least made substantial progress.
    And getting the IAEA back in there will at least give the USA some valuable intel.
    But, again, I don’t think NK will go through with any of this. They may test another nuke the second after their bank accounts are unfrozen and emptied.


  20. KJI is a stud!

    he puts Paris Hilton to shame.

    talk about getting what you want.

    he just wanted time, that’s all, and he’s getting that!


  21. The USA could always stop sending aid later on if NK stops short of getting rid of it’s nukes and everything else. We would have at least made substantial progress.

    I don’t see that.

    Mothballing the nuke material is only good if one of two things turn out to be true:

    1. as you say, NK goes ahead and dismantles the stuff and let’s it be carted out to some third nation for storage and they don’t restart it.


    2. as I said above, North Korea was going to use the material it has and is refining to go into the nuke seeling business.

    If neither one of these is substantially true, the only progress we will have made is giving Pyongyang material support it very much needs.

    It makes no sense otherwise.

    It is just cosmetic, because for some reason, people have a fundamental difficulty admitting some problems can’t be solved.


  22. I honestly can’t see 50,000 tons of fuel saving KJI at this point. I don’t even see it taking a dent at speeding up the decline of his regime. If I’m reading this correctly, we have 2 months to do this. Also, I’m not understanding who is exactly suppose to pay for it.

    As a face saving thing we can give them 50,000 and relax currency restrictions. For the time being. It doesn’t really matter.

    I personally think it might be better to not send them anything and watch KJI test a 2nd nuke. Then 3rd. Then 4th. I’m being completely serious and not joking here. Then we send them 50,000 tons of oil. If we send them oil now it’s clearly as a tribute to their nuclear weapons status. If they test 4 nukes successively, it’ll become somewhat blase at that point. And it also wastes time. And it has the additional benefit of getting everyone freaked out and on board. But I guess taking this kind of risk is a bit hard when we are essentially gambling with nuclear holocaust.


  23. It would also get rid of 3 or 4 nukes…

    I don’t mind if we stick to the 50,000 tons once.

    I do mind easing any currency or financial restrictions (frozen bank accounts) that should have been frozen long before due to the amount of times NK has been caught red-handed doing illegal activities in other nations to gain hard currency.

    If the US Congress can put into effect a program that blocks my ability to transfer funds to and from online poker rooms where I was making some money while going to grad school, they can attack North Korea’s money transferring ability for its illegal drug shipments, fake dollars, and illegal arms and technology deals….



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