Talking To Terrorists: NoKo Aided Syrian Nuke Program
WASHINGTON (WSJ) —North Korea was helping Syria build a plutonium-based nuclear reactor, the Bush administration is set to tell Congress, a revelation that could undermine diplomatic efforts to dismantle Pyongyang's nuclear-weapons program.That's the trouble with trying to negotiate with rogue terrorist states. Obama tells us he'll be very good at this kind of stuff given his messianic aura and all, but one third of the American voting populace notwithstanding, do you think Li'l Kim will fall for that ballyhoo?
Speculation about North Korea's alleged role was sparked by a September Israeli strike inside Syria, which targeted what many U.S. government and private analysts believe was a nascent nuclear reactor. To date, neither Israel nor U.S. intelligence officials have made public information about the attack, except for a small number of lawmakers. That's fueled criticism from Republicans who charge the Bush administration with downplaying the matter to avoid hurting talks with the North Koreans.
This week, the Central Intelligence Agency is expected to begin briefing members of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees on the Israeli strike, according to Congressional and administration officials, based in part on intelligence provided by the Israeli government.
The information is expected to confirm that North Korea was helping Syria develop a plutonium-based nuclear reactor similar to the Yongbyon facility North Korea built north of Pyongyang, said an official familiar with the deliberations. The briefings are also expected to confirm that North Korean workers were active at the Syrian site at the time of the Israeli attack.
No, it's much more likely that the very junior senator from Illinois will fall for Li'l Kim's ballyhoo, coming back from Pyongyang with all sorts of assurances based on his abiding ego, not on any semblance of reality, only to find out that he's been duped.
As for Mr. Bush, he's played a pretty smart game with Pyongyang, not providing too much icing until he gets his cake, but this week's CIA briefing hopefully is signaling a new get tougher approach to the crazies in Pyongyang. This is a regime that engenders absolutely no sympathy from any credible countries, so we have a free hand in dealing with them.
Let's slap them around a bit.