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North Korea Claims to have Shut Down Its Nuclear Reactor

NoKo said they would shut down their reactor in exchange for oil. The oil arrived today, as did the assurances that the reactor is off line. Of course, we already know what NoKo's word is worth: nothing. The US is reacting positively, nonetheless:

North Korea told the United States it shut down its nuclear reactor, the State Department said Saturday, hours after a ship cruised into port loaded with oil promised in return for the country's pledge to disarm.

If confirmed by a U.N. inspection team headed to the Yongbyon reactor, the shutdown would be the North's first step in nearly five years toward de-nuclearization.

"We welcome this development and look forward to the verification and monitoring of this shutdown by the International Atomic Energy Agency team," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said in a statement.

After tortuous negotiations and delays -- during which the North argued its nuclear program was needed for self-defense -- the reclusive regime said earlier this month that once it received the oil shipment, it would consider halting its reactor.

ABC News reports that the UN's Inspector Clouseaus have arrived for their inspections:

U.N. inspectors arrived in North Korea on Saturday to monitor the communist country's long-anticipated promise to scale back its nuclear weapons program, while the top U.S. nuclear envoy said he expected Pyongyang's reactor to be shut down in a matter of days.

An initial shipment of oil aid arrived hours earlier Saturday, in return for Pyongyang's pledge to close down its main nuclear reactor. The move would be the North's first step in nearly five years toward the de-nuclearization of the peninsula.

The 10-member team from the International Atomic Energy Agency was heading directly to Yongbyon, about 60 miles northeast of the capital, to begin monitoring the shutdown.

"We are going directly to the nuclear site at Yongbyon," IAEA team chief Adel Tolba told broadcaster APTN outside the Pyongyang airport. Footage showed dozens of cardboard boxes being loaded onto the back of two trucks.

Tolba said the team would stay in North Korea as long as needed to complete its work.

How reassuring.


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Comments (10)

"...would CONSIDER h... (Below threshold)
ExSubNuke:

"...would CONSIDER halting it's reactor." (emphasis added)


How very kind of them.

And when the Dear Leader st... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

And when the Dear Leader sticks his tongue out at America and says he's turning on the reactor again, deal or no deal, will Congress permit the President to act?

That's another of those questions where to ask it is to answer it, isn't it?

"Shut down" is not enough, ... (Below threshold)
marc:

"Shut down" is not enough, a complete dismantling of the plant is the only answer.

But getting the IAEA, or it's feeble master the U.N., to make it happen is like pissing into the wind.

It feels good, but you still smell like piss.

Betcha Mizz Pelosi would he... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

Betcha Mizz Pelosi would head on over there and have a talk with the Dear Leader, and then she'd say everything had been worked out, as long as they're allowed to shell South Korea whenever they want, they'll keep their reactor turned on.

That remains to be seen the... (Below threshold)
spurwing plover:

That remains to be seen they will just move it underground

If indeed the reactor is sh... (Below threshold)

If indeed the reactor is shut down, and if inspectors are being allowed in it seems reasonable to assume, this is the most significant diplomatic achievement with the PRK since Ike negotiated a cease fire more than half a century ago.

No doubt, the airwaves and interwebs will be clogged over the next few days with leftists giving George W. Bush his due credit.

Heh.

Oh Yeah! Also, the check is... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Oh Yeah! Also, the check is in the mail. ww

"If indeed the reactor i... (Below threshold)

"If indeed the reactor is shut down, and if inspectors are being allowed in it seems reasonable to assume, this is the most significant diplomatic achievement with the PRK since Ike negotiated a cease fire more than half a century ago."

This claim seem rather ludicrous on its face seeing as the very same Yongbyon reactor was shut down and inspectors were allowed in as part of the Agreed Framework in 1994. The reactor was repaired and restarted in late 2002 at the same time IAEA monitoring equipment was removed. It took the Bush administration 4 1/2 years to negotiate our way back to where we were when his administration started. What a great accomplishment.

It took the Bush a... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:
It took the Bush administration 4 1/2 years to negotiate our way back to where we were when his administration started. What a great accomplishment.

Gee, Joe, do ya think maybe the other side of those negotiations might have had something to do with that?

Of course not, all totalitarian dictatorships always negotiate in good faith. Especially communist/socialist totalitarian dictatorships. It's always the eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeevil Wepubwicans that lie and cheat and lock up innocent civilians and so on and so forth.

[/sarc]

"Gee, Joe, do ya think m... (Below threshold)

"Gee, Joe, do ya think maybe the other side of those negotiations might have had something to do with that?"
Of course the North Korean government is unbelievably difficult to negotiate with. That was just as true when the Clinton administration created the Agreed Framework that shut down the Yongbyon reactor and allowed IAEA inspectors into the country to secure the fuel rods in 1994, and it is still true today.

However, it takes incredible hubris to herald this new agreement as a "significant diplomatic achievement," since basically the same agreement was already negotiated and operating when George W, Bush took office. The Bush administration put an end to the Agreed Framework in 2002. Now in 2007, they've finally gotten the North Korean government to agree to essentially the same plan that it took the Clinton administration less than 2 years to negotiate originally. Addison heralds this as a huge success and asks for Bush to be given credit for it, when all Bush really did was suspend the original agreement for 4 1/2 years.

Of course, I didn't mention before that between 2002 and now North Korea took the plutonium fuel rods that used to be under IAEA seal and processed some of them into nuclear weapons. While the Agreed Framework certainly had its flaws, the one thing it was doing effectivelty was keeping those rods under lock and key. Without those, North Korea was several years from developing enough processed fuel for a bomb. With them, it didn't take long to produce one.

It's always the eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeevil Wepubwicans
I don't think the above actions by the Bush administration were evil at all. They were merely ill-advised and based on an overly simplistic world view.




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