Are the Neo-Cons Rearing Their Ugly Heads Again?
President Bush’s special envoy on human rights in North Korea, Jeff Lefkowitz, had some rather severe remarks for North Korea, according to AFP:
…he said North Korea “has not kept its word,” was “not serious about disarming in a timely manner” and “its conduct does not appear to be that of a government that is willing to come in from the cold.”
Lefkowitz also accused Pyongyang of being a “serial proliferator” and using its nuclear arms to “extort” foreign aid
Lefkowitz also wants to link human rights to any future thawing in U.S. north Korean relations.
He also goes on to critisize South Korea and China for not doing enough to coerce the North into giving up its weapons and predicts that Kim Jong Il will still have a nuclear stockpile at the end of the Bush administration.
AFP notes that Lefkowitz’s remarks are in stark contrast to State Department envoy Christopher Hill’s calls for patience.
Here is the Bush administration’s official reaction, via CNN:
“Under agreements reached in the six-party process, North Korea has committed to declare all its nuclear programs and to disable the three key nuclear facilities at Yongbyon as an initial step toward eventually abandoning all its nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs.”
“While it’s unfortunate that North Korea has not yet provided a complete and correct declaration, we continue to work with Japan, South Korea, China and Russia in urging North Korea to fulfill its commitments in this regard. We believe the Six-Party framework gives the region and the world the best opportunity to realize the goal of a denuclearized Korean Peninsula.”