John Bolton on Agreed Framework 2.0

“I think this deal will inevitably fail,” Bolton said. “That day cannot come too soon in my view.”  [CBS]

That was John Bolton speaking at the American Enterprise Institute on Thursday (I was home sick).   If you were to ask me the reasons why I think AF 2.0 is a flat-out capitulation —  one that will make our world more dangerous,  hurt our friends, and reward our enemies before it fails — all I have to do is look who lost and who won the factional war for the Bush Administration’s foreign policy:

Asked by U.S. News why the administration had changed course in February and accepted that North Korea would receive some benefits before it had verifiably disarmed, Bolton said it was because of “the persistence of the State Department bureaucracy … they’ve finally succeeded.” Bolton added that he was particularly surprised that President Bush, with well-known views about human-rights violations in North Korea and terrorism, would agree to begin a process of removing North Korea from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism. He cited North Korea’s abduction of perhaps 15 Japanese citizens in the 1970s and ’80s as a matter that must be resolved before North Korea could shed its terrorism-sponsor status.

At latest word, I should note, North Korea is going to have to wait for at least a few months before coming off that list, because the removal process takes longer than the time  between the signature of  AF 2.0 and the publication of the list this month.  There could also be considerable opposition to such a move in Congress.

“The February 13 agreement let North Korea out of the corner it had put itself in,” Bolton said. “Time works in North Korea’s favor and against our interest.”

Bolton argued that North Korea will not surrender its nuclear weapons and programs until there is regime change, saying that a real denuclearization agreement would constitute a “suicide pact” for the regime of Kim Jong Il.

That sounds exactly right to me.

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