Friday, June 27, 2008

Not Enough for Me

So North Korea is tearing down a prominent part of one of its nuclear plants and is forking over a lot of old nuclear program documents to the international community.

Not surprisingly, President Bush, eager to look like he can understand and react to complex international events, decided that this was a good time to lift economic sanctions on North Korea. But not just sanctions, Bush decided it was worth removing North Korea from the list of states sponsoring terrorism. That's the move I just don't get.

Korea's shift towards greater transparency in its state-run nuclear program should be applauded, and it makes the world today slightly safer than it was yesterday. But if there's one thing we learned on September 11th it was that terrorists tend to work under the radar — it's not like a government gave them four airplanes to crash — and just because North Korea may be less of a threat publicly, who knows what they're doing behind close doors. Do we know how secure the stockpiles of nuclear materials North Korea possesses are? What about the stockpiles we don't know about? Can we account for all of the uranium that has passed through North Korea in the past decade? Do we trust the North Korean government to tell us everything it's been up to?

I didn't grow up in the age of nuclear panic, so it's difficult for me to put North Korea's potential nuclear threat in perspective. But I am growing up in an age of terrorism, and it seems pretty clear to me that simply dismantling certain parts of an above-ground nuclear facility isn't enough to let North Korea off the hook as a potential sponsor of terror.

Anyone agree?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"age of terrorism"? Really? What about State terror?