North Korea has sent a message to the Bush Administration. It goes a little something like this:

We’ve upped our ante, so up yours.

The Kim regime has decided to follow the example of the United States and ignore all treaties that contribute to international peace. The regime does not feel obligated to prevent horizontal proliferation of nuclear weapons, the creation of nuclear weapons or any other kind of restrictive behavior involving nuclear weapons. Without a doubt, such rogue states also scorn international protocols that help protect the Antarctic, the ozone layer, and biodiversity, and prevent global warming, deforestation, and water pollution

Now that this “axis of evil” member has admitted to having nuclear capabilities and has decided to thumb its nose at the international community, it’s probably only a matter of time before it declares war on everything else.

Was that last paragraph about North Korea or the United States? Moving on…

Media spin in the U.S. portrays the Kim regime as a bunch of maniacs hell bent on “acquiring” nuclear material to build a weapons program with the intent of striking Asian satellites of the U.S. or the U.S. mainland itself. The media is busy screaming about the broken treaty between the U.S. and the North Korean regime.

There was no “treaty” signed in 1994. The 1994 agreement is just that—an agreement. It is commonly referred to as the Agreed Framework. Simply put, the Agreed Framework is a set of ideas and principles that each side wants to discuss as diplomatic relations grow. It is not a formal treaty of any kind.

As for North Koreans as war-mongerers, “acquiring” nuclear material is not difficult when your country is practically made of uranium. North Korea is as rich in natural uranium ore as Iraq is rich in petroleum. North Korea has been mining and processing uranium since the 1950s. They’ve been researching it for civilian as well as military use for at least as long.

North Korea has no petroleum sources or fossil fuels of any kind. They do, however, have uranium and it only makes sense that they use it to power their country. The prominence of uranium as an economic tool is reflected in the now invalidated Agreed Framework.

Through the Agreed Framework, the U.S. asked that North Korea stop researching nuclear weapons, and in return, the U.S. would assist in constructing light water reactors (LWR) for nuclear power facilities. As part of this agreement, the U.S. would provide grain and fuel oil to the starving population. Like every other calamity that strikes the U.S., North Korea’s rejection of the Framework was completely the fault of the United States. The Agreed Framework deal was power plants, cheerios, and go-juice for abandoning weapons research, but the U.S. never held up its side of the bargain.

How long did the U.S. Government expect that it could drag its feet and outright screw the North Koreans out of their reactors? LWRs are not advanced enough for weapons development so there’s no excuse. If the U.S. expects to keep questionable regimes out of the nuclear weapons market, and expects to stop terrorist organizations from purchasing nuclear arms, then the United States needs to grow up and start being the honest player that it claims to be before another catastrophe happens.

Otherwise, there will be a lot more things glowing this holiday season than the Christmas tree lights.

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