One Step Up, Two Steps Back

North Korea has agreed to full disclosure of all of its nuclear programs and an end to them all by the close of this year.

"One thing that we agreed on is that the DPRK (North Korea) will provide a full declaration of all of their nuclear programmes and will disable their nuclear programs by the end of this year, 2007," Christopher Hill told journalists after two days of talks in Geneva.

North Korea has already shut down a key nuclear reactor at Yongbyon under an agreement reached on February 13.

Under the deal, North Korea agreed to dismantle its nuclear programme in return for aid and security and diplomatic guarantees, notably normalising ties with the United States.

The US suspects the North, which conducted its first atomic weapons test in October, of running a secretive highly enriched uranium programme in addition to the programmes it has already admitted to.

When asked whether the declaration would have to include the suspension of all uranium activities to be satisfactory to Washington, Hill replied: "Full means full."

Three words, borrowed from a great American: Trust but verify. One hopes the government is working on that aspect as well. So that is today's good news in the nuclear area. The bad news is from Iran. Mad Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is rattling his sabre with all his might.

TEHRAN (AFP) – President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Sunday Iran had achieved a key target in its atomic drive by operating more than 3,000 uranium-enriching centrifuges in defiance of world powers.

His boast came as Iran answers questions over its nuclear programme to the UN atomic agency under a plan the watchdog's chief Mohamed ElBaradei warned could be a "last chance" for the Islamic republic.

"They (world powers) thought that by issuing any resolution Iran would back down," Ahmadinejad told Islamist students, referring to the two previous sanctions resolutions imposed against Tehran by the UN Security Council.

"But after each resolution the Iranian nation took another step along the path of nuclear development," he said, according to the website of state broadcasting.

"Now it has put into operation more than 3,000 centrifuges and every week we install a new series" of centrifuges, he said.

The installation of 3,000 centrifuges has always been earmarked by Iran as the key medium-term goal of its nuclear programme, a milestone it had originally hoped to reach by March.

Gas is fed into the centrifuges to produced enriched uranium, which can be used to make nuclear power and, in highly enriched form, the fissile core of a nuclear bomb.

However a UN atomic energy agency report obtained by AFP last week said that Iran was still well short of 3,000 centrifuges.

AFP is still cheerily providing cover for the rogue state, but it is a singularly bad idea to discount what Ahmadinejad is boasting about. Nicolas Sarkozy sees the real dangers here and has spoken openly about them. A nuclear armed Iran is a menace to the entire region. Period. The idiots trying to water down sanctions on Iran are making a general war much more likely. The failure to present a unified front against this man and the mullahs is dragging the world to the brink.

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2 Responses to One Step Up, Two Steps Back

  1. curtis says:

    Charlie Brown ain’t going to kick the football this time either.

  2. Bleepless says:

    Right you are, Curtis. What is it for North Korea now? About the eighth promise? You don’t need ESP to know that the West will shower Kim with goodies and cash once again. After they arrive, Kim will “become outraged” over somebody’s statement somewhere, leading to a resumption of the nuke program. Bush and Condi will be shocked and bewildered, just like always.

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