Posted by Steve Markowitz on May 21, 2015
The advancement of North Korea’s nuclear capabilities demonstrates the likely outcome of negotiations with any rogue nation determined to obtain nuclear weapons.
In December 1985 North Korea signed the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty (NPT). That treaty required signatories to submit to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) by 1992 reports on their nuclear activity. The IAEA found North Korea out of compliance, which resulted in it withdrawal from NPT the following year.
In 1993 North Korea proposed direct negotiations with the United States on the nuclear issue, which the Clinton Administration accepted. Negotiations led to the US accepting some North Korean demands with North Korea accepting limited IAEA inspections. In 1994 North Korea and the United States signed the Agreed Framework between the United States of America and the Democratic People’s Republic. This agreement supposedly eliminated weapons grade fuel from North Korea’s power plant, replacing it with the harder to weaponize light water reactors. This agreement remained in place for a few years during which North Korea did some sable rattling, which was quieted down by the United States offering financial and agricultural assistance.
By 2003 the Agreed Framework between the United States of America and the Democratic People’s Republic broke down. In 2006 North Korea tested its first nuclear bomb followed by other tests.
This week CNN reported that North Korea claimed significant advances in its nuclear weapons including the creation of miniaturized warheads, improved missile accuracy and firing a rocket capable of carrying nuclear warheads from a submarine. These are ominous developments, especially the capability of producing smaller weapons that can be more easily sold to terrorists or other rogue nations.
The history of the negotiations and North Korea then becoming a nuclear nation after breaching the agreements made should surprise no one except the elitists in the State Department. A country determined to obtain nuclear weapons cannot be stopped through negotiations. The power and prestige these rouge nations gain by entering the nuclear club is perhaps the most valuable asset they can seek. Given this reality, negotiations are a charade. Those who believe that the current negotiations with Iran can lead to any more successful results have a juvenile understanding of history and the drive for sovereign power.
Posted in Nuclear Weapons | Tagged: IAEA, Iran, Korea, missile, Nuclear, submarine | 1 Comment »
Posted by Steve Markowitz on October 22, 2012
According to the New York Times, Iran has agreed to start discussions with the United States over its nuclear program. This information has been more or less officially leaked. The timing of the announcement is coincidental giving the upcoming presidential election.
During the early days of the President’s first term, he publicly offered to meet with Iran without preconditions in order to discuss its nuclear program. The Iranians slapped down the President, refusing his offer to talk.
Given the proximity of the upcoming presidential election, the potential for a positive outcome for the talks is suspect. Unless Obama is reelected any discussions between his Administration and the Iranians would be of minimal value.
In addition, the timing of the talk’s announcement is suspect and could be an attempt by the Obama Administration to advance its reelection goal. This becomes more likely given the turmoil in the Middle East and the attack in the US consulate in Benghazi, both which have tainted the President’s foreign policy record.
Finally, the Iranians have in the past used the bait of negotiations as a stalling tactic as they continue their quest for nuclear weapons. Negotiations between countries with highly diverse strategic goals only work under one of two circumstances: either one country defeats the other in conflict or both sides have a willingness to compromise. Neither circumstance exists with any proposed negotiations between the United States and Iran.
Posted in Iran, Nuclear Weapons | Tagged: Iran, Negotiations, Nuclear Weapons, Obama | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Steve Markowitz on November 23, 2010
Our November 20 posting, Secret North Korean Nuclear Plant Goes Public, reviewed the strategic challenges the West faces with the rouge state of North Korea. It suggested using out-of-the-box pressure on China to end the North’s nuclear ambitions. That included the threat of assisting China’s regional foes in their nuclear programs should China not become a real partner in putting to an end the North Korean nuclear problem.
Today the Korean problem escalated further with the North’s shelling of the South Korean island of Yeonpyeongdo in the Yellow Sea. South Korean solders were killed and others wounded. The South responded with return fire and scrambled jets.
It is not by accident that North Korea is challenging the West at this time. They, like many countries, see Barack Obama as a weak leader who does not fully comprehend strategic balances or the important role the United States and its power has played in controlling rouge nations over the decades. They likely view the recent midterm elections as further weakening Obama and limiting his options.
While Obama’s now owns this Korean problem, he did not create it. For decades the world has allowed North Korea to act illegally and immorally, turning a blind eye to ever increasing infractions of international law. As a result, the danger has grown as the North acquired weapons of mass destruction. If there was ever an argument justifying preemptive action, the North Korean saga is it. The world’s unwillingness to confront the North Korean’s years ago is directly responsible for a larger crisis toady, one that might include the use of nuclear weapons.
Posted in North Korea, Nuclear Weapons | Tagged: China, Island, North Korea, Obama, South Korea, UNited States, Yellow Sea, Yeonpyeongdo | 2 Comments »
Posted by Steve Markowitz on November 20, 2010
The New York Times just broke a story with serious implications for President Obama’s foreign policy and the world’s safety. American scientist, Siegfried S. Hecker of Stanford University, visited North Korea and was shown a huge facility built in secret and designed to enrich uranium, a key ingredient in atomic bombs. This facility will give the North Korea the ability to build more and larger bombs. Hecker stated that he was “stunned” by the plant’s sophistication.
George W. Bush called North Korea part of the Axis of Evil. Barack Obama believes that by singing Kumbaya with thugs like the North Koreans that we can negotiate our way towards living peacefully together. Since becoming President, Obama’s olive branch has resulted in the North Koreans setting off another atomic bomb, their sinking of a South Korean vessel, and now the acknowledgement of this new huge facility that can only be used for bad intent. It is clear that Obama’s approach was naïve and at best no better than the more belligerent approach used by Bush. North Koreans have become even more belligerent with Obama’s appeasement approach.
North Korea will ultimately have to be dealt with by the free-world. Unfortunately, given their procession of nuclear weapons and thousands of artillery pieces pointed at Seoul in close proximity, America’s options are limited.
The only country with leverage on the North Koreans is China who supplies this failed state with food and other necessities. The Chinese, however, will not pressure North Korea until it is in their best interest. This reality is where America must focus its efforts. Here’s an out of the box solution. Let’s stop the sanctions and threats that haven’t worked in the past and will not work going forward. In private acknowledge to the Chinese that America can take no direct action against the North Koreans, a fact the Chinese already know. However, we should also inform them that if they do not disarm the North Koreans of the nuclear weapons within a defined period of time, we will then assist our allies in the region in obtaining these same WMD’s. A nuclear Japan would get China’s attention.
Nuclear non-proliferation is a noble idea. However, only countries that wouldn’t use them would sign up for no nukes. Rogue regimes like Iran and North Korea see nukes as their only option for survival in the long-term. Stopping less belligerent countries like Japan and Jordan from having nukes only makes it more likely that Iran and North Korea want to obtain them. Without their regional adversaries having nukes, MAD (Mutually Assure Destruction) that made nukes worthless to the United States and Russia, would not exist for these rogue regimes. It’s time to rethink the Nuclear non-proliferation idea given its failure with the world’s most dangerous regimes.
Posted in North Korea, Nuclear Weapons | Tagged: Atomic Bomb, China, Japan, MAD, Mutually Assure Destruction, North Korea, Nuclear Plant, Obama, Siegfried S. Hecker, WMDs | 1 Comment »
Posted by Steve Markowitz on April 17, 2010
The New York Times has just posted a disturbing “Breaking News Alert” report that states:
“Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has warned in a secret three-page memorandum to top White House officials that the United States does not have an effective long-range policy for dealing with Iran’s steady progress toward nuclear capability, according to government officials familiar with the document.” (Emphasis added.)
Why doesn’t the President have a plan for dealing with Iran at this late date? This seems to match his history of voting “Present” so often while a State Senator in Illinois. Well Mr. President, this is no longer the minor leagues!
The current situation with Iran is additional proof that President Obama’s charm offensive with Iran and the greater Muslim world has met with total failure. While “words matter”, in foreign policy actions speak louder.
Now, we have a President, who is perceived weak by our adversaries, having to deal with the potential of a nuclear Iran. We can only hope for an internal revolution to stop the world from having to deal with a catastrophic situation. We can also hope that a new administration will be elected before the crackpot Mullahs in Iran get access to this WMD.
The Obama Administration has shown more concern with our ally, Israel, building a few homes in a land in which they live than the Iranians building nuclear weapons. It is little wonder that the Iranians show no concern about the West’s reaction to their dangerous course of action.
Posted in Iran, Nuclear Weapons, WMDs | Tagged: Iran, Israel, Mullahs, Muslim world, Nuclear Weapons, Nukes, President Obama, Robert M. Gates, Secretary of Defense, WMD | Leave a Comment »