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Nuclear incentives and lessons unlearned
With little fanfare, the deal to provide North Korea with light-water reactors, per the 1994 "Agreed Framework" deal brokered by Jimmy "Dhimmi" Carter, was finally laid to rest last week. The Associated Press reported:
The Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization, or KEDO, was formed in 1995 to finance and build two light-water reactors, from which it is difficult to extract weapons-grade plutonium. Those reactors were to replace a graphite-cooled reactor that can be used to produce weapons-grade plutonium.
A Wednesday statement from the executive board of KEDO blamed Pyongyang's "continued and repeated failure" to cooperate with the international effort to induce North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons program.The executive board members of KEDO are the United States, South Korea, Japan, and the European Union.
KEDO also demanded that North Korea compensate the agency for the multibillion-dollar cost of the project — a dim prospect given North Korea's isolation and belligerency.
It was not clear if the timing of the KEDO announcement was meant to influence Iran to cooperate with a similar "reactors-for-inspections" plan.
I doubt it. The precedent set by North Korea should-- should-- convince those working to resolve the standoff with Iran of the utter futility of offering nuclear and other incentives. But all appearances are that no one has connected the dots. From AFP:
VIENNA (AFP) - The United States has offered to lift some of its trade sanctions against Iran as part of a package of benefits the EU will deliver to get Tehran to guarantee it will not make nuclear weapons, diplomats told AFP.
The United States is proposing "lifting sanctions partially, not only waiving sanctions but actually lifting them," in an agreement to be worked out in multilateral talks that would start once Iran suspended uranium enrichment, said a senior Western diplomat, who requested anonymity.
Also in the past week, the US has hinted at direct talks, also if Iran suspends "disputed activities." It is worth noting that the criterion for direct talks with North Korea has always involved "complete, verifiable, irreversible disarmament (CVID)." Nautilus summarizes:
North Korea must commit to CVID and commence tangible dismantlement before the United States will outline its roadmap of reciprocal commitments to provide security and development assistance to North Korea.
Which country is a more immediate threat? Why the lower standard?