“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Bush Deserves Credit for Ending North Korean Nuclear Program. Hopefully.

North Korea 'to end nuclear programme'

By Matthew Moore and agencies Telegraph
Last Updated: 10:43am GMT 13/02/2007

In pictures: North Korea's nuclear quest
North Korea has promised to wind down its nuclear programme in return for a package of international aid and the normalisation of relations with America.

Kim Jong-il united the world in condemnation when North Korea tested a nuclear device in October
The secretive Stalinist state agreed to shut down its main nuclear reactor within 60 days, and eventually disable it irreversibly, in a momentous deal signed at the end of a six-country conference in Beijing. It will also allow international inspections of the site.

In return the US will begin the process of removing North Korea from its list of state sponsors of terrorism, and move towards ending sanctions imposed after the country's underground nuclear test in October.

"This progress marks another firm and important step towards the denuclearisation of the peninsula," said Wu Dawei, the head of the Chinese delegation to the conference.

The US chief negotiator was more cautious. "This is only one phase of denuclearisation. We're not done," Christopher Hill said.

If Pyongyang goes through with its promises it will be the first time it has scaled back its atomic development after more than three years of negotiations marked by delays and deadlock.

Many analysts had said that North Korea was unlikely to give up the bomb after working on it for so long, pointing to the general acceptance of India and Pakistan as other recent additions to the nuclear "club".

The deal was struck at an international conference in Beijing involving China, Japan, Russia, the US and the two Koreas.

Under the deal, the North will receive an initial 50,000 tons worth of heavy fuel oil - or aid to its equivalent value - in return for shutting down and sealing its main nuclear reactor.

Photograph from inside the Yongbyon nuclear power plant in North Korea, taken by the International Atomic Energy Agency in 1992
The North will eventually receive another 950,000 tons of heavy fuel oil or equivalent aid for irreversibly disabling the reactor. The total amount of heavy fuel oil offered to North Korea is worth around $330 million at today's prices.

North Korea and United States have also agreed to embark on talks aimed at resolving disputes and restarting diplomatic relations.

North Korea's more conciliatory approach follows a U-turn by America, which held secret bilaterial meetings with the North prior to the conference, having previously pledged not to do so.

The Korean peninsula has remained in a state of war for more than a half-century since the Korean War ended in a 1953 ceasefire.

Last month the Daily Telegraph revealed that North Korea was helping Iran to prepare an underground nuclear test similar to the one Pyongyang carried out last year.

Under the terms of a new understanding between the two countries, the North Koreans agreed to share all the data and information they received from their successful test with Teheran's nuclear scientists, according to a senior European defence official.


  1. This announcement is a Clinton Administration redux. President Bush has agreed to a similar deal Clinton gave the munchkin years ago.

    WE ARE USING THE SAME TRACK WITH IRAN. Even if the little grinning tyrant goes away the weapons will still be made.

    ... smoke and mirrors ...

  2. Don't pay any attention to the little man behind the curtain.