OK, so Dubya decides to abrogate the 1994 “Agreed Framework” that the Clinton Administration negotiated with North Korea stipulating that they would halt activity developing plutonium-based weapons in exchange for promises of a pair of light-water reactors and US diplomatic and economic relations.
Now, though, according to this AP story, you would think that North Korea wants to shut down its nuclear reactor, based on what Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill tells us (more on that in a minute).
So what was the big holdup under Bushco? Well, it was the $25 million of North Korean funds that the U.S. “froze” at a Macau bank over money laundering allegations (as noted here).
So, as the diplomatic tit-for-tat nonsense, name calling and posturing played out, North Korea managed to conduct at least seven prior missile tests since Clinton left office, working out the kinks in pursuit of God knows what.
And as noted above in the AP story, Hill's counterpart Kim Kye Gwan and Foreign Minister Pak Ui Chun are making overtures that could mean that North Korea wants to shut down its nuclear reactor, though Hill notes way, way down in the story that “it would take ‘a great deal of time, a great deal of effort, a lot of work’ in ridding North Korea of its nuclear programs, including weapons.”
So what exactly is there to feel good about here?