Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Huffing and Puffing

US Assistant Secretary of State Chris Hill told the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University on Wednesday that the US is "not going to live with a nuclear North Korea. . . . We are not going to accept it." North Korea "can have a future, or it can have these weapons. It cannot have both."

Then again, in an interview with CNN: "We're just not going to accept that North Korea, with its starving population, is going to be able to join the nuclear club. . . . We're going to work very hard to make sure North Korea understands the cost of this [North Korean leader Kim Jong Il] is going to really rue the day that he made this decision."

Perhaps the US should take note of former UK Prime Minister Baroness Margaret Thatcher's reaction to the 1998 nuclear tests by India and Pakistan. She said, "huffing and puffing about test bans and non-proliferation" will not prevent major powers also becoming nuclear powers.

I have been wondering why France has not joined in the chorus of protest and condemnation that has greeted the North Korea nuclear test. A search on CNN and BBC has not turned up an official statement. Perhaps that has something to do with this:

"We can see that the tests occurred, and therefore the threat of sanctions did not work. We have to talk together and then talk to India and Pakistan in a more understanding way, even as we make clear that we disapprove of what they have done," French President Jacques Chirac opposing imposing economic sanctions on India and Pakistan following their nuclear bomb tests in May 1998.

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