In Pyongyang, Kim Jong Il should be celebrating. In Tehran, Ahmadinejad should be be gloating. Worldwide, tinpot tyrants must be taking notes. The message delivered to the world by Condi Rice’s State Department, with the “joint agreement” just reached at the six-way talks in Beijing is that — yes, indeed — nuclear blackmail pays. Having cheated on the Clinton “Agreed Framework” nuclear freeze, trashed the nonproliferation treaty, and tested an intercontinental missile and a nuclear bomb, Kim is now about to rake in his latest pay-off from the U.S. — which is offering a heap of rewards in exchange for the same hollow promises with which Kim suckered us last time.
While U.S. envoy Christopher Hill was negotiating this debacle, I spent some time reporting an article for The Weekly Standard, compiling a list of Kim Jong Il’s main sources of income over the past decade — as a rough guide to what North Korea’s promises are worth: Cash for Kim. Given the lies, murk and propaganda of the government of North Korea, there was no way to produce exact numbers and neatly reconciled accounts. But what’s clear is that Kim’s regime, while inflicting Stalinesque conditions on its own people, and threatening the rest of us, has been raking in billions via aid and alleged global criminal rackets (some of them much closer to the U.S. than you might think). These include counterfeiting U.S. dollars, selling illicit drugs, peddling counterfeit cigarettes and cleaning up on what amounts to North Korean slave labor. To that list, we can now add another $200 – $400 million worth of fuel with which the the U.S. now hopes to appease Kim — the latest pay-off in his nuclear blackmail racket.
This deal is no achievement, and it won’t buy peace. It is tribute paid to a murderous tyrant, it is a complete betrayal of what America stands for. And it won’t work.
Compliments to this marvelous bit of “nuke boost” artwork from Cox & Forkum, who get it — unlike the diplomats who get paid to protect our interests, and are instead delivering support to Kim.