Saturday, April 02, 2011

After Libya, North Korea less likely to drop nuclear ambitions

A Christian Science Monitor writer speculates, “It's a pretty good bet that, as Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi sits in his fortified compound, Western airstrikes targeting his military, that Qaddafi rues the day he heeded US pressures and gave up his nuclear weapons program.”
And, more than a bet, it's now a matter of record that North Korean and Iranian leaders interpret Colonel Qaddafi's plight as a lesson in why not to compromise with the US and other international powers on nuclear development. Their assumption is that, were Qaddafi still in possession of his nuclear and other WMD programs, the West would have thought twice before it attacked.

The Obama administration has often said Iran and North Korea face that same choice that Qaddafi once did. But at this juncture in time why would North Korea be willing to compromise its nuclear programs?

North Korea was even more direct than Iran in addressing the "lessons" of Libya. Calling the deal the US extended to Qaddafi in 2003 "an invasion tactic to disarm the country," Pyongyang’s Foreign Ministry declared this week that Libya's nuclear dismantlement "turned out to be a mode of aggression whereby the [US] coaxed [Libya] with such sweet words as 'guarantee of security' and 'improvement of relations' to disarm, and then swallowed it up by force."

Pyongyang and Tehran have concluded that "the US and its allies had a plan for premeditated treachery [against Qaddafi] where none likely existed," writes Doug Bandow in Friday's online issue of The National Interest.

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