Go to contents

U.S. Determined to Completely Dismantle North’s Nuclear Program

U.S. Determined to Completely Dismantle North’s Nuclear Program

Posted March. 08, 2007 06:42,   


In an interview with Dong-A Ilbo held in a hotel in Seoul yesterday, the director of the Asian Studies Center at the Heritage Foundation in U.S., and former deputy assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific Affairs under the George W. Bush administration Peter Brooks said, “The Beijing Agreement, announced on February 13 by the six-party talks participants, is indeed just the first step toward resolving the North Korean nuclear issue. However, what matters is that the U.S. administration hasn’t given up its principle of dismantling North Korea’s nuclear program in a complete, verifiable, and irrevocable way.”

Regarding the February 13 Agreement, Director Brooks pointed out, “It is certainly encouraging that the North’s reprocessing facility in Yongbyon doesn’t immediately produce plutonium, but there has not been an inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Furthermore, it is undesirable that the ill-fated moves of North Korea, which conducted nuclear tests, were rewarded by the agreement.”

Brooks noted, “Stability and denuclearization on the Korean peninsula are what the U.S. can’t afford to make concessions to any one on,” and warned that if North Korea fails to fulfill its promises to the international community within 60 days, the agreement could fall apart.

Concerning the North’s controversial highly enriched uranium program (HEU), Brooks remarked, “The U.S. government now feels less confident of the North’s HEU program than it did back in 2002 when the issue of the North’s HEU program first came out. Given the nature of the HEU program, the U.S. doesn’t seem to know how to precisely figure out how far the program has surreptitiously proceeded.”

He stressed, “And yet, what is important is when the North reports all of its nuclear facilities, all the doubts over its HEU program should be removed as a consequence.”

Regarding the Korea-U.S. alliance, Brooks further stated, “It seems that the tensions in terms of security reached a fairly critical point. In particular, it is a problem that the two countries agreed to a deadline for the transfer of wartime operational control at a time when the North’s nuclear tests took place and when the issue of dismantling North Korea’s nuclear program had not been fully resolved.”

He stated, “If I were still in office now, I wouldn’t have done that,” and criticized the agreement, saying, “The agreement sent the wrong message to North Korea, giving it an opportunity to misjudge what the agreement really means.”

Brooks also said, “Over the last seven years, Korea’s policy toward North Korea was virtually one-sided. Korea kept providing the North with aid, but it received little in return from North Korea,” and added that now Korea’s North Korea policy should be based on reciprocality. Korea should show a different attitude based on how the North behaves.

Brooks noted, “The North’s regime change can’t be achieved, but the North needs to show a change of its behavior.”

Director Brooks is a fellow of Chung Joo-young, who does research with the money the late chairman of Hyundai Group Chung Joo-young contributed to the Heritage Foundation.