Monday, March 05, 2007

Don't Trust--and Verify, Part II

Here's today's reading assignment, courtesy of former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, writing at

Ambassador Bolton finds plenty of "politicized intelligence" associated with the recent announcement that North Korea will (supposedly) give up its nuclear program, in exchange for energy and economic assistance from the U.S. Despite assurances from unnamed "senior officials" that we've reached a workable deal with North Korea, Mr. Bolton notes the recent drop in our intelligence community's "confidence level" about the DPRK's uranium enrichment efforts--a critical component of its nuclear efforts. More troubling, the U.S. and its Six Party partners are not demanding aggressive and intrusive verification efforts, to ensure Pyongyang's compliance, realizing that North Korea would never agree to such inspections.

Bolton clearly believes that Kim Jong-il cannot be trusted, and prospects for "fixing" the verification issue in future talks are doomed. We agree with Mr. Bolton, and said similar things about the trustworthiness of North Korea last fall.

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