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Changing Regime Is Only Way To Resolve Nuclear Crisis

Posted August. 25, 2003 21:39,   


“In order to resolve North Korean Issue, China should exercise its influence on North Korea to change the regime. It, however, wouldn`t be easy for China to take a dominant role in changing the regime and when it occurs, attacks on the North may become unavoidable,” former CIA Director James Woolsey insisted yesterday.

Woolsey, who visited Seoul as CIA director during the North Korean Nuclear crisis in 1994 and is revisiting Seoul to participate the General Meeting of Pacific Basin Economic Council (PBEC), expressed his hard-line stance at a press conference yesterday at Silla Hotel. The followings are details of the interview.

- Why do you take hard line on the North Korea`s regime change?

“We can not trust North Korean regime. I can say that, even if the North signs diplomatic documents, the present Kim Jong-il regime is likely to destroy it whenever they want. In addition, how could anybody say North Korea, which has sold missiles, as well as drugs, will not sell plutonium to terrorist groups. The plutonium and enriched uranium that the North produces are, respectively, a size of a grapefruit and a football and weighs only 10kg and 20kg. Thus, the North can easily mobilize them to the outside of the country.”

- You recently contributed an article to the Wall Street Journal saying that the U.S. may have to attack North Korea. Do you believe that the South Korean government will agree with you? If Seoul rejects the U.S. decision for war, what choice do you think the U.S. will make?

“If South Korea and the United States do not want to take a military solution, the only way to stop the nuclear weapons development of the North is changing the North Korean regime using the China`s influence.”

- Why does the China should be involved in it?

“China will be the biggest victim of North Korea`s nuclear armament. If North Korea arms with nuclear weapons, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan will also reinforce their forces. If China does not participate in changing the regime change, it is evading its responsibility as a leader of Northeast Asia.”

- When you worked as director of the CIA, did you make a program for the regime change of North Korea or did you hear any plan of the regime change from the present Bush administration?

“I never made such a program and I also do not share any information with present government personnel.”

- If the regime of the North Korea changes, who should fill the gap?

“South Korea, China, the United States and Japan should agree with each other on the need of the regime change through dialogue and share expenses and responsibilities. During this process, the economic damages of the South Korea should be minimized. South Korea will have a greater financial burden than that of West Germany for the unification of Germany. The U.S. should financially assist South Korea.”

- Some U.S. media point out that you are creating the mood for a hard-line policy. The New York Times recently reported that krypton 85 Gas that is only emitted when reprocessing plutonium was detected in the air of North Korea. How much do you trust such an article?

“There is no reason not to believe. If you cannot believe it, what does the North Korea`s statement that it is reprocessing nuclear materials says to you? North Korea secede from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and even kicked out nuclear inspectors.”

Seung-Ryun Kim srkim@donga.com