"I am altering the deal. Pray I do not alter it further."
Fox News is the only source to report North Korea has begun to reassemble its
nuclear facilities at Yongbyon, as it threatened last week. Fox cited statements
by US official sources who were not identified by position or name. Fox also
provided no details as to just what activity is taking place that is related to
reassembly of the facilities. Fox appears to have been co-opted into a North
Korean ruse considering North Korea made the threat last week.
There are far too many unknowns and uncertainties to credit the Fox report so soon after the North Korean threat. The main point is the North has the technical capability to reassemble the facilities at Yongbyon eventually, which distinguishes the
North’s statements as threatening, instead of bluffing. Actions to reassemble
Yongbyon facilities would be consistent with the North Korean tactic of forcing
the US to re-negotiate over old issues that were settled in earlier talks.
Whenever the North thinks it can get a better deal, it simply changes the rules
and sometimes the game. If the US chooses to stay engaged, Ambassador Hill or
someone else must now re-negotiate for the dismantlement conditions that the US
worked five years to achieve. That would be the significance of increased
activity at Yongbyon, if confirmed. In short, the price of North Korean cooperation went up again.
03 September, 2008
Pact Sunt Servanda
--Darth Vader to Lando Carlissian