T Nation

Oil for North Korea

Am I the only one who see’s somthing wrong with this?

U.S. to Ship Oil To North Korea
Bush Cites Progress on Denuclearization

By Peter Baker
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, September 29, 2007; Page A13

President Bush yesterday authorized the first U.S. shipment of heavy fuel oil to North Korea in five years, a reward to Pyongyang for moving forward with its agreement to end its nuclear programs.

The president’s order means the United States soon will send 50,000 metric tons of fuel worth about $25 million to the impoverished and isolated Stalinist government. In justifying the move, the White House cited North Korea’s recent commitment to complete an inventory of its nuclear programs and disable its existing nuclear facilities by the end of the year.

“It’s action for action,” said Gordon Johndroe, spokesman for the National Security Council. “We feel like the North Koreans are taking the right steps in living up to their obligations under the agreements.”

The shipment represents another step in a complex sequence of actions and rewards built into an accord forged in February by the United States, North Korea, China, Japan, Russia and South Korea. The agreement promises energy-starved North Korea a total of 1 million tons of heavy fuel oil over the course of the denuclearization process. So far, South Korea and China have provided 50,000 tons each. Russia will provide the next installment, while Japan refuses to participate until North Korea addresses its abductions of Japanese citizens.

But Bush’s order yesterday also marked a dramatic shift for an administration that cut off fuel shipments to North Korea in 2002 when U.S. officials accused Pyongyang of operating a secret uranium enrichment program. After the fuel cutoff, North Korea restarted its nuclear reactor at Yongbyon, extracting weapons-grade plutonium for bombs and eventually announcing last fall that it had tested one.

Critics have questioned the administration’s decision to restart fuel shipments before North Korea completely shuts down its program. And the six-party deal has come under renewed criticism since Israel’s Sept. 6 attack on a suspected nuclear site in Syria that was reportedly set up with the help of North Korea.

Sources have told The Washington Post that Israel shared satellite imagery and other intelligence with Bush this summer indicating that North Korean nuclear personnel were in Syria. Bush has refused to discuss anything concerning the situation and Johndroe said yesterday that he had no comment. Syria and North Korea have both denied that they were collaborating on a nuclear program.

The United States also announced this week that it is renewing long-standing sanctions against North Korea for transferring missile technology, although administration officials downplayed the significance of the action and said it would not affect the nuclear deal.

Despite the new sanctions and the Israeli airstrike, the six-party talks resumed in Beijing this week and the nuclear agreement with North Korea appeared to remain on track. North Korea has shut down the Yongbyon reactor and agreed to admit inspectors from the United States, China and Russia. U.S. officials want to map out the next phase of action by the end of the year.

[quote]jawara wrote:
Am I the only one who see’s somthing wrong with this? >>>[/quote]

No

They agreed to stop their nuclear program in exchange for oil. What’s wrong with holding up your side of the bargain?

If I remember correctly, didnt Clinton make the same kind of deal and they kept making nukes away?

Hopefully, Bush made a better deal and got some inspections/garantees somewhere in there.

[quote]pookie wrote:
Hopefully, Bush made a better deal and got some inspections/garantees somewhere in there.[/quote]

Do you think he’d call Haans Blikxx?

[quote]pookie wrote:
Hopefully, Bush made a better deal and got some inspections/garantees somewhere in there.[/quote]

I don’t understand guys like you. You are intelligent and display a modicum of levelheadedness on occasion, but continue to live in Disneyland where the state of the world is concerned.

You really think N. Korea is going to stop developing nukes before somebody forcibly removes their ability to do so? You really believe that?

[quote]jawara wrote:
pookie wrote:
Hopefully, Bush made a better deal and got some inspections/garantees somewhere in there.

Do you think he’d call Haans Blikxx?[/quote]

I don’t think Blix would ever want to be involved in anything where the US is also involved.

Bush will be on vacation starting Jan 20th; maybe he could do the job himself?

Carter builds houses for Habitat for Humanity; Clinton gives overpriced speeches and gets blown; Bush could do Rogue Nation Inspections. He could bring his dad along.

[quote]Tiribulus wrote:
I don’t understand guys like you. You are intelligent and display a modicum of levelheadedness on occasion, but continue to live in Disneyland where the state of the world is concerned.

You really think N. Korea is going to stop developing nukes before somebody forcibly removes their ability to do so? You really believe that?[/quote]

I believe that North Korea is smart enough to realize that it’ll never be a direct threat to the US and uses its pitiful nuclear program to try and get a better bargaining position.

Why? Because, really, they have nothing we want or need. They have no precious rare ressource to bargain with. So, they posture and treathen Japan and South Korea (which would hust us (the West) indirectly if they were attacked) so that they’ll have something to offer in return for what they need.

North Korea is one of the most backwards country on Earth… I’m pretty sure you have the means to keep tabs on them. If Google can show me a fair picture of my swimming pool, I’m sure the US DOD has much better technology to look at what’s going on anywhere on the globe. That’s just with technology. Hopefully, you’ve got “people intelligence” somewhere in there too.

The problem with your approach is that you can’t go in everywhere and do everything by force. Just Afghanistan and Iraq have you stretched pretty thin. There’s also the “resentment” factor to consider. How many generations of Afghans and Iraqis do you think it will take for those who’ve lost family members and loved ones to stop hating you? That’s my main beef with the Neocon approach: They think everything they do occurs in a vacuum and won’t have repercussions (“blowback”) somewhere down the line.

And even IF (and we’re now in complete Fantasyland) you could go in everywhere and fix everything by force without any fear of future reprisal, you still couldn’t use that approach with stronger countries like China or Russia… so, somewhere along the line, diplomacy has to factor into it.

Taking that as a given, I think it’s best to bargain in good faith and to not be the side who welches on it’s part of the bargain. Diplomacy should not be used as some sideshow where you just do it to be able to say you did. You should have good diplomats and inspectors and whatever else you need to make it work as best possible. When someone then crosses you, you’ll be able to go in and kick ass with the world’s support (like in Gulf War I. Remember how well that went?)

Why are we shipping oil? Let someone else pay the blackmail fee to keep N. Korea nuclear free (supposedly). I’m not that worried about it.

I thought they agreed to stop making nuclear motions when we took them off the ‘axis of evil’ list.

It occurs to me that this could be for a couple of purposes.

  1. Bush renews US Aid to NK so that when KJI doesn’t keep his end of the bargain Obama’s holding the bag.

  2. Bush renews US Aid to NK to appease China, and get china to make economic concessions to ease the global recession (letting their currency rise, coordinating future interest rates cuts with America and Europe).

  3. Bush renews US Aid to NK so he can claim a foriegn-policy ‘mission accomplished’. This being a concern as he’s leaving the white house soon, and history will likely see his efforts at Middle east-peace a failure, his attacks on Iraq and Afghanistan a draw, and his inability to gather international support important.

[quote]pookie wrote:
<<< I believe that North Korea is smart enough to realize that it’ll never be a direct threat to the US and uses its pitiful nuclear program to try and get a better bargaining position.

Why? Because, really, they have nothing we want or need. They have no precious rare ressource to bargain with. So, they posture and treathen Japan and South Korea (which would hust us (the West) indirectly if they were attacked) so that they’ll have something to offer in return for what they need.[/quote]

You forgot the prospect of their nuclear technology, pitiful as it may be being handed off to some body else. I like how you Exchange U.S. and we BTW. Very telling =] A Freudian slip?

[quote]pookie wrote:
North Korea is one of the most backwards country on Earth… I’m pretty sure you have the means to keep tabs on them. If Google can show me a fair picture of my swimming pool, I’m sure the US DOD has much better technology to look at what’s going on anywhere on the globe. That’s just with technology. Hopefully, you’ve got “people intelligence” somewhere in there too.[/quote]

I’m well aware of the kooky nature of the NK government which makes them even more unpredictable and dangerous with even a meager unconventional arsenal.

[quote]pookie wrote:
The problem with your approach is that you can’t go in everywhere and do everything by force. Just Afghanistan and Iraq have you stretched pretty thin.[/quote]

We wouldn’t be stretched like this if we would stop wasting resources on these self destructive social programs to the tune of 500 billion a year.

[quote]pookie wrote:
There’s also the “resentment” factor to consider. How many generations of Afghans and Iraqis do you think it will take for those who’ve lost family members and loved ones to stop hating you?

That’s my main beef with the Neocon approach: They think everything they do occurs in a vacuum and won’t have repercussions (“blowback”) somewhere down the line.[/quote]

3 things. Hussein and the Taliban are responsible for more human misery in any given 15 minute period than the U.S. in the whole time we’ve been over there. Second, while it would be really cool if everybody loved us, they’re feelings are secondary to our national interests.

That’s just how the world works unfortunate as it is. Third, I’ve never heard or read even one single person saying that ANYTHING we do happens without local consequences or that those consequences are uh… inconsequential.

We are the most compassionate and merciful military force in history, sometimes to our own detriment. Who else rebuilds countries they conquer on their own dime? Japan is a huge financial power today in large part because of our help even though we fought a bitter war with them.

We bent over backwards watching the UN play tiddly winks with Hussein for years before finally telling them to pull up their pants and go home so we could actually get something done about him.

[quote]pookie wrote:
And even IF (and we’re now in complete Fantasyland) you could go in everywhere and fix everything by force without any fear of future reprisal, you still couldn’t use that approach with stronger countries like China or Russia… so, somewhere along the line, diplomacy has to factor into it.[/quote]

I am not saying the first step in every international faceoff should be an attack. Could you please point me to a time when we did this. We have always tried diplomacy and sanctions first. Hussein is a great example. 10 years, 14 UN resolutions, sanctions galore and he continued to smile into the camera and flip us off.

Also, as I said above, we would have all the resources of force we would ever need if we would stop frittering away hundreds of billions a year on our own domestic destruction.

[quote]pookie wrote:
Taking that as a given, I think it’s best to bargain in good faith and to not be the side who welches on it’s part of the bargain. Diplomacy should not be used as some sideshow where you just do it to be able to say you did.

You should have good diplomats and inspectors and whatever else you need to make it work as best possible. When someone then crosses you, you’ll be able to go in and kick ass with the world’s support (like in Gulf War I. Remember how well that went?)
[/quote]

I don’t take that as a given. However, if we enter into negotiations and the other side keeps their end then all the better, but how many chances do we give them?

The world’s support is something I’ll take if its there, but it should never influence any country interested in self preservation to the point of coercing them into actions against their self interests. Whatever anybody thinks of Israel my hat is off to them in this regard. They don’t give a shit what anybody thinks if they perceive the need to act.

You and I have a fundamentally divergent view of the world. You think that everybody generally means well and will get along one day if the big guns would just play nicer.

The entire history of the human race flies in the face of this view. The whole of recorded history is ALL ABOUT somebody trying to take what somebody else has. Many times married to a barbaric tendency to enslave or exterminate the objects of their conquest. People like you believe that will one day change and our enemies exploit that noble, but misguided belief. I do not believe that.

The United States has not practiced extermination or even long term dominating occupation in it’s wars despite having the power to do so. Unless this drive through generation considers 7 years long term, which I’m sure it does.

[quote]pookie wrote:
Tiribulus wrote:
I don’t understand guys like you. You are intelligent and display a modicum of levelheadedness on occasion, but continue to live in Disneyland where the state of the world is concerned.

You really think N. Korea is going to stop developing nukes before somebody forcibly removes their ability to do so? You really believe that?

I believe that North Korea is smart enough to realize that it’ll never be a direct threat to the US and uses its pitiful nuclear program to try and get a better bargaining position.

Why? Because, really, they have nothing we want or need. They have no precious rare ressource to bargain with. So, they posture and treathen Japan and South Korea (which would hust us (the West) indirectly if they were attacked) so that they’ll have something to offer in return for what they need.

North Korea is one of the most backwards country on Earth… I’m pretty sure you have the means to keep tabs on them. If Google can show me a fair picture of my swimming pool, I’m sure the US DOD has much better technology to look at what’s going on anywhere on the globe.

That’s just with technology. Hopefully, you’ve got “people intelligence” somewhere in there too.

[/quote]

Can you imagine that job?

Undercover in Northkorea?

[quote]orion wrote:
Can you imagine that job?

Undercover in Northkorea?
[/quote]

I’m pretty sure they just pay someone who already lives there.

Probably in vacations away.