DPRK (North Korea) Chronology for 2002


Compiled by
Leon V. Sigal
Northeast Asia Cooperative Security Project

ROK gives US details of HEU facility location and technology it got from North Korean defector from HEU program, according to Japanese, U.S. diplomatic sources. (Yomiuri Shimbun, ‘Defector Leaked Details of N. Korea’s N-Program,’ December 18, 2002)

NIE: “Most Intelligence Community agencies project that before 2015 the United States most likely will face ICBM threats from North Korea… Proliferation of ballistic missile-related technologies, materials, and expertise—especially by Russian, Chinese, and North Korean entities—has enabled emerging missile states to accelerate missile development, acquire new capabilities, and potentially develop even more capable and longer range future systems. … North Korea’s multiple-stage Taepo Dong-2, which is capable of reaching parts of theUnited States with a nuclear weapon-sized (several hundred kg) payload, may be ready for flight-testing. … The initial test likely would be conducted in a space launch configuration. … The North probably also is working on improvements to its current design. The Taepo Dong-2 in a two-stage ballistic missile configuration could deliver a several-hundred-kg payload up to 10,000 km — sufficient to strike Alaska, Hawaii, and parts of the continental United States. If the North uses a third stage similar to the one used on the Taepo Dong-1 in 1998 in a ballistic missile configuration, then the Taepo Dong-2 could deliver a several-hundred-kg payload up to 15,000 km — sufficient to strike all of North America. A Taepo Dong-2 flight test probably would be conducted as an SLV with a third stage to place a small payload into the same orbit the North Koreans tried to achieve in 1998. … North Korean willingness to sell complete systems and components has enabled other states to acquire longer range capabilities earlier than otherwise would have been possible — notably the sale of the No Dong MRBM to Pakistan. The North also has helped countries to acquire technologies to serve as the basis for domestic development efforts — as with Iran’s reverse-engineering of the No Dong in the Shahab-3 program. … The Intelligence Community judged in the mid-1990s that North Korea had produced one, possibly two, nuclear weapons, although the North has frozen plutonium production activities at Yongbyon in accordance with the Agreed Framework of 1994. North Korea also has chemical and biological weapons programs.” (National Intelligence Council, Foreign Missile Developments and the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States through 2015, December 2001)

TCOG in Seoul: discussion of resuming US talks with DPRK (James L. Schoff, Tools for Trilateralism (Dulles, VA: Potomac Books, 2005), p. A9)

State of the Union address: “States like these, and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world.” Michael Gerson, approaches Frum a few weeks before the pivotal State of the Union address and tells him, “Here’s an assignment. Can you sum up in a sentence or two our best case for going after Iraq?” This was in late December 2001. Frum argues that this does not necessarily mean a decision to oust Saddam had been taken, as he is sure other speechwriters were working on more peaceful versions. But his was the version that was used on January 29 2002. Looking for historical resonance, Frum goes leafing through the speeches of Franklin Roosevelt, in particular the “day of infamy” address to the nation that followed Pearl Harbor. “On December 8 1941, Roosevelt had exactly the same problem we had. The United States had been attacked by Japan, but the greater threat came from Nazi Germany,” Frum argues. In effect, al-Qaida is Japan and no prizes for guessing who plays Hitler this time around. The phrase Frum comes up with is “axis of hatred”, describing the ominous but ill-defined links between Iraq and terrorism. It is Gerson who tweaks the phrase into the “axis of evil”, to make it sound more “theological”. “I thought that was terrific,” Frum says. “It was the sort of language President Bush used.” The national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice and her deputy, Stephen Hadley, then add Iran on the grounds that denouncing the ruling theocracy might accelerate the incipient revolt they see emerging in the street protests. Why North Korea gets tacked on to the axis is not clear in the book — although Pyongyang’s presence does bring the number of miscreants up to the magic number three, and ensures the list is not entirely Islamic. (Julian Borger interview with David From, “How I Created the Axis of Evil,” The Guardian, January 28, 2002) East Asia bureau officials only learned the day of the speech that North Korea was included. Some tried to making the case for removing it because it would be seen as unnecessarily provocative in South Korea and Japan, but Powell overruled them. “He said, ‘These are the president’s views. It’s his speech, so salute and follow,’” said a State Department official. (Wall Street Journal, “A Split with Seoul Complicates Crisis over North Korea,” January 2, 2003, p. 1) Oberdorfer: “Until virtually the moment it was uttered, it was kept secret from nearly all the rest of the government, including almost all officials of the State Department and U.S. embassies abroad as well as from the South Korean government and other U.S. allies. The State Department had access on a confidential basis to other statements in the draft text of the speech, including the statement (which was in the speech as given) that “North Korea is a regime arming with missiles and weapons of mass destruction, while starving its citizens.” Some officials thought this would be harmful to diplomacy, but they did not deny its accuracy and did not seriously contest it. A speechwriter’s description of the North Korean leader as a “dictator” was deleted from an earlier draft, evidently for diplomatic reasons. But the most explosive part of the speech was withheld from internal discussion and debate.” (Don Oberdorfer, Korea and the United States: Partnership under Stress,” Korea Society Quarterly, 3, No. 2 (Summer 2002) p. 11) Neither Powell nor Armitage voiced any concerns. “The axis of evil speech did not leap out at us at the time as being a blueprint for military action,” says Armitage. “It seemed to me fairly consistent with how we felt about things.” Ambassador Yang Sung-chul asked for an urgent meeting with Kelly on the night of the 28th. “What’s going on?” Yang asked. “Can the language be modified?” Kelly told him the matter was out of his hands. Stephen Yates, Asia specialist on the vice president’s staff applauded th language. “Those were the days of strategic clarity,” he recalled. “Call a spade a spade and Kim Jong-il was nothing if not evil.” At the DoS morning meeting on the 30th aides asked Powell about it. Boucher recalls Powell responding, “I saw it. I didn’t object to it. The president said it. That’s how he sees the world and that’s how we are going to deal with it.” Ambassador Thomas Hubbard was scheduled to hold a press conference in Seoul. He had no instructions. “All hell broke loose,” he recalled. “One of the first questions I got was, ‘Kim Dae-jung had asked for a face-saving gesture. Is this your answer to his appeal?’” (Chinoy, Meltdown, pp. 70-71)

DPRK FoMin spokesman: “Groundlessly pulling up the DPRK over the development and possession of weapons of mass destruction, Bush let loose a string of such vituperation as terming the DPRK and some other countries as ‘countries threatening the U.S. and world peace” and an ‘axis of evil.’ And he blustered that the United States of America ‘will not permit the world’s most dangerous regimes to threaten the U.S. with the world’s most destructive weapons.’ … What merits a serious attention is that Bush disclosed his reckless attempt to stifle the DPRK by force of arms. There has been no precedent in the modern history of DPRK-U.S. relations that in his policy speech the U.S. President made undisguised threatening remarks on aggression and threat against the DPRK, an independent and sovereign state. This is, in fact, little short of declaring a war against the DPRK. Nice words for nice words.” (KCNA, “Spokesman for DPRK Foreign Ministry Slam’s Bush’s Accusations,” January 31, 2002)

Opposition to the axis of evil line leaked out all day long. It was so bad that Powell himself told the January 31 staff meeting that no one in the DoS “should try to take the edge off what the president said, or try to spin it.” (Bolton, Surrender Is Not an Option, pp. 103-4)

Under SecState John Bolton exults with his deputy Mark Groombridge over axis of evil and renews the fight over recertification of the North’s adherence to the Agreed Framework. “Remember that agreement we just had with the East Asia bureau?” he said. “Gone.” (Chinoy, Meltdown, p. 77)

Memo from ASD ISA Peter Rodman to SecDef Rumsfeld, Subject: Points for the President on North and South Korea: “You mentioned that you had suggested to the President that he might want to give speeches that highlighted the brutality of the regimes in North Korea and Iran. Here are some points on Koprea — the contrast between North and South. …The contrast in prosperity between South and North Korea is literally a matter of darkness versus light. ….North Korea’s armed forces are the fifth largest in the world and pose a significant military threat, yet their large size cannot compete with the technologically advanced capabilities of the ROK forces. … Grain production falls short of meeting minimum nutritional needs and malnourishment is widespread. …There are approximately 30 forced labor camps in Nprth Korea containing about 200,000 prisoners.” (Rumsfeld Papers)

Bush-Koizumi summit in Tokyo. At a press conference afterward with Bush at his side, Koizumi declared that Japan “would like to work on normalization of relations with North Korea.” Bush said, “On one side of the parallel we’ve got people starving to death because a nation chooses to build weapons of mass destruction. …They should make no mistake about it, that we will defend our interests, and I will defend the American people.” (White House, Remarks by Prime Minister Koizumi and President Bush in Joint Press Conference, February 18, 2002)

Bush in Seoul. En route in from the airport, Bush asked Hubbard how the South Koreans had reacted to axis of evil. “I don’t think you’ll get much argument from the South Koreans about the ‘evil’ part of it,” Hubbard says he replied. “But the South Koreans don’t know why you said it. They see the U.S. buildup for Iraq. The last thing the South Koreans want is a war on the Korean peninsula. … and the speech to them raised that prospect.” At the embassy Rice showed Hubbard the speech Bush was planning to give at the Dorasan train station on the DMZ. His meeting witjh Kim Dae-jung ran twice as long as scheduled as the two differed sharply. Bush began with a blistering denunciation of Kim Jong-il to justify his including North Korea in his axis of evil. “I answered that you can have dialogue with evil if it is necessary,” Kim recounted. “It’s not for making friends; it’s for pursuing your national interests.” He recalled how presidents had had dialogue with communist states. “Even as President Reagan called the Soviet Union an evil empire, he also had dialogue,” Kim said. “So then, why can’t you have dialogue with North Korea?” If you do not pursue the option of dialogue, the only viable option here can be war. However, according to the UN Command about 1.5 million people in Seoul could die from that war and that includes tens of thousands of Americans living in Seoul as well.” Recollections differ whether he or Lim Dong-won asked Bush not to use axis of evil in his speech at Dorason station. (Chinoy, Meltdown, pp. 73-74) The U.S. military had been dragging its feet, and in some cases actively opposing, the South’s efforts to open transportation corridors to the North. Where the U.S. Embassy was doing its best to keep U.S.-ROK ties intact, the U.S. military in Korea, through its own channels, was portraying Blue House policy as anathema to the alliance.” (Oberdorfer and Carlin, The Two Koreas, p. 358)

Speech at Dorasan rail station: “I made it very clear to the President that I support his sunshine policy. And I’m disappointed that the other side, the North Koreans, will not accept the spirit of the sunshine policy. We talked about family reunifications, the displaced family initiative that he started, which I think is a great initiative. And yet only 3,600 families, I believe it was, have been allowed to reunite. I asked him how many — what’s the potential, what are the potential families on both sides of the DMZ that could reunite. He said, 10 million people. In order to make sure there’s sunshine, there needs to be two people, two sides involved. And I praised the President’s efforts. And I wonder out loud why the North Korean President won’t accept the gesture of goodwill that the South Korean President has so rightfully offered. And I told him that we, too, would be happy to have a dialogue with the North Koreans. I’ve made that offer. And yet there has been no response. Some in this country are — obviously have read about my very strong comments about the nature of the regime. And let me explain why I made the comments I did. I love freedom. I understand the importance of freedom in people’s lives. I’m troubled by a regime that tolerates starvation. I worry about a regime that is closed and not transparent. I’m deeply concerned about the people of North Korea. And I believe that it is important for those of us who love freedom to stand strong for freedom and make it clear the benefits of freedom. …I will not change my opinion on the man, on Kim Jong-il until he frees his people and accepts genuine proposals from countries such as South Korea or the United States to dialogue; until he proves to the world that he’s got a good heart, that he cares about the people that live in his country. I am concerned about a country that is not transparent, that allows for starvation, that develops weapons of mass destruction. I care very deeply about it because it is in the neighborhood of one of our very close friends. I don’t see — and so, therefore, I think the burden of proof is on the North Korean leader, to prove that he does truly care about people and that he is not going to threaten our neighbor. We’re peaceful people. We have no intention of invading North Korea. South Korea has no intention of attacking North Korea, nor does America. We’re purely defensive. And the reason we have to be defensive is because there is a threatening position on the DMZ. But we long for peace. It is in our nation’s interest that we achieve peace on the Peninsula. (White House, Office of the Press Secretary, “Remarks by President Bush and President Kim Dae-jung in Press Availability,” February 20, 2002) [Hubbard’s idea] On his arrival in Seoul Bush got “a candid report from U.S. diplomats that Koreans on nearly all sides of the body politic were worried that he had been signaling a U.S. intention to launch a war.” (Oberdorfer,Korea and the United States: Partnership under Stress,” Perspectives, 3, No. 1 (Summer 2002) Karen Hughes, Bush’s counselor, told reporters that the president was fascinated by satellite pictures of the Korean Peninsula at night, showing bright lights over the South and darkness over the power-starved North. To Bush, the pictures showed “the light and opportunity that comes with freedom, and the dark that comes with a regime that is oppressive,” Hughes said. (Michael Hirsh, Melinda Lu, and George Wehrfritz, ‘We Are a Nuclear Power,’ Newsweek, October 23, 2006)

At a Blue House meeting President Bush tells President Kim Dae-jung, “Kim Jong-il is a vicious dictator who starves his people and violates their human rights. ..We should send the winds of freedom to topple down the North Korean regime.” Kim recalled that President Reagan had called the Soviet Union an ‘evil empire” yet pursued détente through dialogue and Nixon went to China after calling it a war criminal. “While it is easy to have dialogue with a friewd, it is difficult to have dialogue with somebody you don’t like. But for the sake of national interest or necessity, sometimes you have to enage the party.” Bush turned to NSA Rice and SecState Powell and said, “I will discuss the issue with them. Buit North-South dialogue should come first.” (Lim, Peacemaker, pp. 295-96)

DPRK FoMin spokesman: “During his trip to Asia from Feb. 17 to 22, Bush made clearer the U.S. intention to violate the sovereignty of the DPRK, openly interfere in its internal affairs and stifle it by force. Engaging himself in mud-slinging at the DPRK, he talked about ‘change’ of its system and, furthermore, outrageously slandered the supreme headquarters during his current trip. … Bush’s foolish remarks betray his own ‘calculation’ to drive a wedge between the supreme headquarters of the DPRK and its people. The remarks of Bush, prompted by the desire to conquer the government of other country by dint of strength and dollars, remind people of a puppy knowing no fear of the tiger. … We are not willing to have contact with his clan which is trying to change by force of arms the system chosen by the Korean people. Useless is such dialogue advocated by the U.S. to find a pretext for invasion, not admitting the DPRK system. … The army and people of the DPRK will adopt our own countermeasure against those who are trying to bring the Korean people to their knees by force of arms to have them in their clutches and will mercilessly wipe out those who pounce upon the DPRK.” (KCNA, “DPRK Foreign Ministry Spokesman on Bush’s Slanders,” February 22, 2002)

North Korea releases Takashi Sugishima, former Nihon Keizai reporter detained for two years as suspected spy.

Media Research poll: 62% of South Koreans unfavorable toward US

Gallup telephone survey of 1,032 Koreans, shortly after Bush’s axis-of-evil statement and the skating incident at the Winter Olympics, only 33.7 percent of the respondents said they “like the United States.” Generation gap: only 23.1 percent of respondents in the 20s age bracket and 21.2 percent of those in their 30s had a positive view of the United States, compared with a 40.9 percent favorable response by those in their 40s and 50 percent for those 50 and older.
(Chosun Ilbo, 4 March 2002)

As of the most recent South Korean data, those in their 20s and 30s make up 35 percent of the total population and 45 percent of those aged 15 and over. (2001 data from National Statistical Office, in Korea and the World 2002, Korea International Trade Association)

Jay Leno defending the ref’s decision: “the Korean player had been angry enough to have kicked and eaten a dog when he returned home.” (Korea Herald, February 26, 2002)

Metropolitan Police Dept opens investigation of Arimoto Keiko, who vanished in Europe in 1983, a suspected North Korean abductee

“U.S. negotiator Jack Pritchard was authorized for the first time to bring Michael Green, a National Security Council official directly representing the White House, to a meeting with North Korean diplomats in New York, during which Pritchard and Green repeated U.S. willingness to begin negotiations. A week later the diplomats asked Pritchard and Green to return and told them that Pyongyang would ‘positively review’ the proposal for a meeting. After further exchanges, North Korea in late April agreed to accept a U.S. mission to Pyongyang to reopen bilateral negotiations. It took two months of internal debate in Washington and a back-and-forth with Seoul for the Bush administration to decide who to send to Pyongyang and what the emissary’s message should be.” (Don Oberdorfer,Korea and the United States: Partnership under Stress,” Perspectives, 3, No. 1 (Summer 2002) “I knew from my own experience that the North Koreans viewed a White House presence as an indication of presidential approval of the message. … After consulting with Steve Hadley, Michael Green, who was director for Asian affairs for the NSC, was able to get authorization to accompany me to New York to meet with Ambassador Pak [Gil-yon] in March 2002. …Even then I sensed that it was more to keep an eye on what I might say to the North Koreans. … No specific talking points or script had been prepared. When Mike and I linked up at the U.S. mission to the UN, he was concerned that I did not intend to use specific language.” Pak “finally indicated in early April 2002 that Pyongyang was ready to meet. When I reported Pak’s response, I was told not to reply — that the White House was reconsidering its options.” (Pritchard, Failed Diplomacy, pp. 20-21)

Dep SecState Richard Armitage gives classified briefing to SFRC saying the president is no longer able to recertify North Korean full compliance with Agreed Framework. Asked if the administration had evidence of cheating, Armitage said no, but it did not have confidence the Nroth would continue to comply. So, Biden asked, the administration has a doctrine of preemptive breach of contract? Presidential waiver allows KEDO funding to continue. (Chinoy, Meltdown, pp. 77-78)

Hans Werner Truppel, who ran Opttronic, a tiny export firm was approached by a North Korean, Yun Ho-jin, for fourteen years a DPRK envoy to the IAEA, who claimed to be representing an import-export firm, Nam Chong Gang, with an order for 214 aluminum tubes, saying he was acting on behalf of Shenyang Aircraft, a leading Chinese aircraft maker in Liaoning near the North Korean border. The tubes were configured for a P-1 centrifuge. (Der Spiegel, “German Officials Identify Former DPRK Diplomat As ‘Ringleader’ in WMD Export Deal,” September 22, 2003; “Germany Stops Freighter with Nuclear-Weapons Grade Material for N. Korea,” April 26, 2003)

White House press spokesman Ari Fleischer: “The President … has accepted a recommendation from the Secretary of State not to certify — in other words, that North Korea, because of the concerns raised because of the insufficient information provided to international monitors, as well as to the United States from the North Koreans, we will not certify their compliance with the three provisions required under law for the program to continue. However, in the national security interest, and because we will continue to adhere to the agreed framework, waivers will be granted, while for the first time all three items under law will not be certified. …It deals with the three areas as set out by the statute. They deal with demonstrated progress on North-South denuclearization, a joint declaration; the agreed framework compliance; and also reducing the threats and exports of ballistic missiles. Those are the three areas that have to be certified under law. They will not be certified, but waivers will be granted. … Q Is this a case where there’s new information, or that we’re just re-examining what we’ve got and taking a different view of it? FLEISCHER: No, it’s a combination of taking a look at all the information that is available. And given the lack of information provided by the North Koreans, and the recognition of the clock and the calendar — as I indicated, by 2005, there are agreed components that would be sent to North Korea. In order for those components to be sent to North Korea, under what the North Koreans themselves agreed to, North Korea has got to comply with the inspections. The inspections take from three to four years. So in order for that three- to four-year period to be met by 2005, North Korea has got to honor its obligations. Q What I’m getting at is that there’s no specific new information that says — that leads us to find them in violation, or noncompliance of some of the things that in the past we haven’t — FLEISCHER: Well, every year Congress sets, as part of the appropriations process, this process in place, involving certification and potential waiver. So this is set by statute. And then what the administration does at the State Department is it examines all the information about compliance, about whether or not information’s being provided from the North Koreans, with an eye toward that important 2005 date, and the time line by which North Korea has got to provide access and information in order for the 2005 date to be met. Q So it’s the calendar more than anything else? FLEISCHER: It’s calendar and also a combination of North Korean actions to date, and failure to provide information to date. They have not — we have concerns, and we don’t have sufficient information.” (White House, Office of the Spokesman, Press Briefing with Ari Fleischer, March 20, 2002)

DPRK Red Cross says it is prepared to resume talks with Japanese Red Cross on fate of “missing Japanese”

CIA station in Seoul reported growing dissatisfaction within the military and public in North Korea — leaflets distributed in Pyongyang calling for the toppling of Kim Jong-il, even organizing of dissident groups. Later the CIA withdrew the report because the sourcing was unreliable. It turned out to be an isolated incident says one senior official who saw the intelligence, “It was just insubordination and rioting and looting of warehouses,” the official said. “People had miscast or misanalyzed it as a political revolt.” (Chinoy, Meltdown, p. 139)

Survey views of 51 “next generation leaders” aged 30 to 49 with demonstrated promise of future advancement to positions of leadership. Although the United States narrowly ranked first (just ahead of China) among major powers in expressions of positive as opposed to negative personal feelings, a more decisive majority said the United States rather than Korea was the principal beneficiary of the bilateral relationship. Asked to pinpoint biggest problems in relations with the United States, the respondents included arrogance, unilateralism, Pax Americana and hegemonism, excessive economic pressure, cultural insensitivity, ‘flunkeyism’ and Korean dependency, the impact of the U.S. military presence and aggressive U.S. policies that heighten South-North tensions. (William Watts, “Next Generation Leaders in the Republic of Korea,” Potomac Associates, April 2002)

North accepts offer of talks but White House backs away. President authorizes second review of Korea policy. Bush had a “gut feeling” he did not want to get bogged down in protracted talks. That leads to “bold proposal,” which “took only a matter of weeks” to devise. “When those of us charged with writing North Korea policy — primarily State Department staff — asked for more specific guidance, none was forthcoming. ‘Think creatively; we’ll know it when we see it,’ was all we were told,” Pritchard writes. That also set off a search for a special envoy. “When no cabinet member or deputy secretary was forthcoming, Jim Kelly was chosen for the mission. It has been suggested to me that the lesson here is that, without an obvious opportunity for political gain, politicians will not endanger their careers.”(Pritchard, Failed Diplomacy, pp. 21, 25-26)

Gregg in Pyongyang: “I had written directly to Chairman Kim Jong-il, saying that in the wake of 9/11 the U.S. government’s heightened concerns about North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction needed to be discussed frankly to avoid the eruption of dangerous misunderstandings between Pyongyang and Washington. During that visit I had about ten hours of discussions with a vice minister of foreign affairs and a very tough three star general posted along the DMZ. In the course of those discussions, I formed a distinct impression that the general’s world view was notably different from that of the vice minister, which raises at least the possibility of something less than a monolithic point of view among the leadership of North Korea. The North Koreans were full of questions, mostly about President Bush. Why is he so different from his father? Why does he hate President Clinton? Why does he use such insulting rhetoric to describe our country and our leaders? The general, in particular, was very cynical about the U.S. He showed little trust in dialogue, and was harsh in his criticism of our implementation of the 1994 agreed framework. Still, at the end of our meeting he thanked me for coming such a long way, and said our talks had been, in part, beneficial. The vice minister bemoaned the lack of high-level talks with the U.S., such as had been held at the end of the Clinton administration. He expressed regret that President Clinton had not visited Pyongyang, asserting that a visit at that level would have solved many difficult issues. He said to me: “You and I cannot solve the problems between our countries. Talks have to be held at a much higher level.” Upon my return to Washington, I strongly recommended that a high-level envoy carrying a presidential letter be sent to Pyongyang to get a dialogue started. A Korean-speaking foreign-service officer had accompanied me, and was most helpful in assuring that information from our visit was disseminated within the government.” (Donald Gregg, “A Perfect Storm Near the Korean Peninsula,” Korea Society Quarterly, 3, No. 2 (Summer 2002), pp. 4-5) Gregg in Pyongyang sees Ri Chan-bok, who says, “We’re ready to fight and die against you Americans if you drive us into a corner.” Gregg responds, “That’s why I’m here because that’s the last thing that ought to happen.” He sees Kim Gye-gwan, who asks why Bush is so different from his father. (Chinoy, Meltdown, p. 79) After meeting in Pyongyang, Gregg sends a note to GHW Bush, who forwards it to Rice, Powell that Bush support ROK efforts to negotiate with DPRK (James Gerstenzang and Sonni Efron, “President’s Critical Choices in Foreign Policy Have the Imprint of Some Fatherly Advice,” Los Angeles Times, October 7, 2002, p. 1) The letter said, according to Gregg, “The North Koreans feel very threatened by us, they have no stake in their relationship with your administration, but the things that almost happened at the end of the Clinton Administration are still on the table. A high-level letter from the White House, carried by someone whom you … trust would get things started.” (Chinoy, Meltdown, p. 79)

Principals Committee meeting discusses North Korean invitation to U.S. envoy via Gregg. “After raucous debate, Colin won agreement to send Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs James Kelly to Pyongyang. I personally intervened with the President top get his grudging acquiescence. But what would Kelly do once he got there? Colin advocated a bold approach, as he called it, prescribing engagement through a series of step-by-step moves by each side. His hope was that they’d lead to a different (if somewhat vague) new relationship between the United States and North Korea. Then, as the preparations were under way, a bombshell dropped from the intelligence community.” (Condoleezza Rice, No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington (New York: Crown, 2011), p. 160)

USAID report commissioned by Andrew Natsios finds regime is fragile, based on refugee interviews along the Chinese border by Robert Gersony, who posed as an NGO aid worker. It concludes that the North was close to collapse in the 1997 famine but was propped up by U.S. aid. (Chinoy, Meltdown, p. 139)

Presidential special envoy Lim Dong-won in Pyongyang, sees Kim Yong-soon for 2 1-2 hours. Kim starts by posing two questions: “The first question is whether the South wants to respect the basic spirit of the June 15 Declaration and cooperate with us, or whether the South wants to turn against us and collaborate with the foreign forces.” Secoond, “Since the South’s designation of the North as its ‘main enemy’ and Bush’s ‘axis of evil’ both have similar inferences, do you wish to unite our strengths to keep the peace, or do you wish to collaborate with the foreign forces to choose war?” Lim replied, “National cooperation and international cooperation are not mutually exclusive. They are, in fact, mutually compatible.” The next evening he had a two-hour meeting with Kim Jong-il followed by a five-hour dinner. Lim told Kim, “Following the attack on Afghanistan, Iraq is becoming the next target. You may find it disturbing, but it is true that the United States is openly talking of North Korea as the next target for preemptive attack and regime change. …Therefore, the situation requires a new, wise countermeasure, different from before. President Bush opposes President Clinton’s approach to North Korea. He defies the U.S.-North Korea agreements. He distrusts North Korea, and he is skeptical of dialogue. The Bush administration maintains the position that there will be no rewards or compensation. However, President Kim secured President Bush’s commitment that the United States will neither attack nor invade North Korea during their summit. This is a very significant shift in U.S. policy in that it reversed President Bush’s public statement on North Korea in his State of the Union address three weeks earlier. President Bush promised to resolve all issues through dialogue and to continue food aid to the North. He also said he earnestly supports President Kim’s policy of reconciliation and cooperation.” He also conveyed the State Department message that the United States is willing to send Ambassador Pritchard to explain the new road map of U.S. policy toward North Korea and said, “It would not be a wise decision to turn down the U.S. proposal because you think Pritchard’s rank is not high enough.” He also informed Kim that when Prime Minister Koizumi met with President Kim in Seoul on March 22, Kim encouraged him to improve relations with North Korea. “I told him that Koizumi said if there were progress on the abduction issue, he would persuade his people to promote improved relations with the North.” Kim Jong-il replied, “To resolve the issue of the ‘missing people,’ we are going to resume Red Cross talks with the Japanese soon.” He also said, “President Bush says he wants to work with us, but doesn’t he look down on us and make foul statements? However, if he stops his rude criticism, I would be willing to accept President Kim’s advice and have a dialogue with the United States. If an ambassador from the U.S. State Department wants to come here, that would be fine.” He also said, “What I would like to say to the United States is that if they think we are like the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, they are making a big mistake. The United States seems puffed up after defeating puppets like the Taliban regime. However, we are determined to fight invaders to the last and drive them out. … Of course, what we sincerely want is for Bush to withdraw hostilities against us and for us to coexist together.” Later on, Lim said, “Unlike during the Clinton administration, we may fail in inter-Korean relations if the North pursues an approach of ‘America first, the South later.’ If you turn to the ‘South first, America later,’ it will have a positive impact on North Korea-U.S. relations as well.” Kim Jong-il replied, “We have noted some disturbing actions on the part of the South for a while. Did we not promise that the North and the South would autonomously resolve the Korean issue? During his visit to the United States in March last year, President Kim succumbed to President Bush’s pressure. Bush was insisting that ‘he would not allow the South to promote inter-Korean relations without U.S. approval,’ and that ‘the South should keep the policy of reciprocity.’” Lim returned to North-South relations, “First, we should revitalize North-South relations so that we can mitigate the intensity of the U.S. hardline policy. To change the atmosphere, we need to expedite holding the second round of the North-South Defense Ministerial Talks. … The defense ministerial talks will also be greatly helpful to the easing of concerns of the threat of North Korean conventional forces. This can provide the first step to military confidence-building between the North and the South. In addition to the symbolic meaning of these efforts, we also critically need military assurance for the peaceful use of the DMZ for the reconnection of the railways on the west coast, and the connection of the roads on the east cost.” Kim retorted, “What good would the defense ministerial talks do when the United States has its grip on the sword?” Lim responded, “President Kim asked me to tell you that the best solution is to appeal to world opinion and American public opinion through the defense ministerial talks, and to change the atmosphere by the connection of the railways and the roads. President Bush also emphasized that there should first be an improvement in inter-Korean relations.” Lim advocated taking immediate steps on the “five core projects” — relinking the railways and the roads, construction of the Kaesong Industrial Complex, promotion of Mount Kumgang tourism by land transportation, taking steps to build military confidence, and increasing various exchanges and meeting of separated families. Kim then said, “Would it not be great to connect the railway from Busan along the east coast to the Trans-Siberian Railway?” Lim said the South did not yet have a railway along the east coast. Then General Ri Myung-soo, chief of operations for the KPA came into the room in civilian clothes and opened a map and gave a briefing on the North’s plan for connecting the railways on the east coast. He also reported that preparations for the west coast rail link had been completed and that work could start immediately. He said that removal of the landmines would not take too much time. Chairman Kim said we should not focus on the Seoul-Sinuiju line only in view of China’s interests, but that we should also consider the construction of the east coast line in view of our relations with Russia. He said we should take both Russia and China — the east and the west — with us. Lim then brought up Kim’s return visit and Kim responded, “In fact I was going to visit Seoul last spring. I also want to see President Kim again as soon as possible. However, the situation changed with the election of President Bush, who is hostile to North Korea. Under the Clinton or Gore administrations, I would have visited Seoul already.” He also said, “Given that the Grand National Party and the right-wing forces are demanding an apology from us for the Korean War and the explosion of the Korean airliner, creating opposition to my visit and threats to inflict personal harm on me, the people around me are opposing my visit. …At present, I frankly do not feel like visiting the South.” Lim responded, “Although it is true that some opposing forces are making noise, such a thing is quite possible in a diverse society. …Public opinion polls show that an absolute majority welcomes Chairman Kim’s visit to Seoul. Also, in order to change the Bush administration’s view of the North, it is President Kim’s view that you should visit Seoul as agreed upon in the last summit.” When Lim suggested visiting Seoul and Jeju Island, Kim said, “Let’s think about holding a meeting in a third country,” and suggested Irkutsk. In conclusion, Kim said, “Let’s schedule meetings of separated families again, and let’s expedite the connections of the railways and road on the east and west coasts. Let’s carry out the Kaesong Industrial Complex project, and hold North-South talks to discuss necessary steps for supporting it.” Over dinner, Lim proposed that General Ri come to Seoul for military to military talks, Kim responded, “General Ri has all the military operation plans in his head. So that will be difficult.” He continued, “Man people say that our economic structure is bad, but the real problem is not the economic structure but a shortage of energy. If the electricity problem is resolved and the economy is still bad, then you could say that our structure is the problem.” He added sarcastically, “The South talked for a while of providing electricity to the North by direct supply. But when the United States opposed it for ‘strategic reasons,’ the South did not say a word.” Lim said the South studied the North’s request for two million kilowatts with an initial supply of 500,000 and concluded that “it would ruin both transmission systems due to the qualitative difference in electricity between our two systems.” (Lim, Peacemaker, pp. 299-317)

Lim Dong-won, back from several hours of conversation with Kim Jong-il in Pyongyang, says he “has expressed a willingness top accept a U.S. envoy’s visit to North Korea.” (Chinoy, Meltdown, p. 80)

KJI says missing persons issue can be part of normalization talks. (Hiramatsu Kenji, “Leadup to the Signing of the Japan-DPRK Pyongyang Declaration,” Gaiko Forum, (Winter 2003), 30)

Powell seeks authority to talk to North Korea. Bush, he recalls, “started talking in terms of , ‘I really want to help the North Korean people. I hate to see this starving, this terrible lousy regime, they’re awful people, but I really want to help the people and so I want a bold approach to this.’” But without agreement on the contents of such an approach, the president’s words remained little more than a catchphrase.(Chinoy, Meltdown, p. 80)

Japan-DPRK Red Cross talks in Beijing. North promises “serious investigation” of abductees. “[T]he North Korea delegation did not get up and leave the table when a Japanese representative raised the abduction issue.” (Hiramatsu Kenji, “Leadup to the Signing of the Japan-DPRK Pyongyang Declaration,” Gaiko Forum, (Winter 2003), 25)

Under SecState Bolton cited “North Korea and Iraq for their covert nuclear programs in violation of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.” (Heritage Lecture, “Beyond the Axis of Evil: Additional Threats from Weapons of Mass Destruction,” May 6, 2002)

President signs NSPD 17, National Strategy to Combat WMD, authorizing planning for preemptive strikes against, among others, North Korea. State objected to some elements of the new approach but Richard Falkenrath, director of the Homeland Security Office of NSC, won. (Mike Allen with Barton Gellman, “Preemptive Strikes Part of U.S. Strategic Doctrine,” Washington Post, December 11, 2002, p. A-1) It says, “The United States will continue to make clear that it reserves the right to respond with overwhelming force — including through resort to all our options — to the use of WMD against the United States, our forces abroad, and friends and allies.” Signed on Sept. 14? (Nicholas Kralev, “Bush Signs Paper Allowing Nuclear Response,” Washington Times, January 31, 2003, p. 1)

VP Cheney pushes NIC for NIE on North Korea enrichment.

Chief cabinet secretary Fukuda Yasuo questioned the so-called three non-nuclear principles that ban the country from producing, possessing and introducing nuclear weapons into Japan. “Depending upon the world situation, circumstances and public opinion could require Japan to possess nuclear weapons,” he told reporters at a off-the-record briefing. (Axel Berkovsky, “Koizumi under a Nuclear Smokescreen,” Asia Times, June 13, 2002)

President Bush announces new doctrine of preventive war: “We cannot put our faith in the word of tyrants who solemnly sign nonproliferation treaties, and then systematically break them. If we wait for threats to fully materialize, we will have waited too long. We must take the battle to the enemy, disrupt his plans, and confront the worst threats before they emerge.” (Text of Speech at West Point, June 1, 2002)

White House announces North Korea policy Declares US willingness to talk, but on broader agenda. A US official involved in drafting the policy review: “We knew it was almost a foregone conclusion that they wouldn’t accept.” (Wall Street Journal, “A Split with Seoul Complicates Crisis over North Korea,” January 2, 2003, p. 1)

Robert Gallucci: “The nuclear weapons concern was drawn sharply by Undersecretary Bolton along with a concern about biological weapons. He said, and I quote, North Korea has a dedicated national level effort to acquire a biological weapons capability. He goes on to say that he has named North Korea and Iraq for covert nuclear weapons programs in violation of the NPT. The Undersecretary of State identifies North Korea as having a covert nuclear weapons program.” (Robert Gallucci, “Inter-Korean Relations,” Council on Foreign Relations)

Army armored mine-clearing vehicle kills two 14-year-old girls

Rumsfeld “snowflake”: “I want to get the CINC in Korea to think through how we would rearrange our military in Korea if North Korea collapsed and the two countries merged.” (Rumsfeld Papers)

TCOG in SF: Kelly discusses Pritchard’s July trip to Pyongyang. Lee Tae-shik suggests sending Armitage or Kelly; Tanaka Hitoshi drops vague hint Koizumi may go. (James L. Schoff, Tools for Trilateralism (Dulles, VA: Potomac Books, 2005), pp. 24, A10)

New raw intelligence on HEU program briefed to President Bush (Powell later said wanted to talk to DPRK FM even thought US knew about HEU) “He [A.Q. Khan] gave them designs,” said one senior U.S. military intelligence official. “He gave them actual functioning centrifuges, both type one and type two. I think that the deal was not just to give them the technology but also the drawings and all the components of the program, as well as the know-how.” (Chinoy, Meltdown, p. 91) [Confirms Hersh 1/19/03]

Alan Foley, WINPAC director, calls Under SecState John Bolton. “John,” he says, “I have something you have to see.” The first person Bolton told about raw intel that had come in about North Korean acquisition of uranium enrichment material was Mark Groombridge, his Asia specialist. Bolton burst into Powell’s office early the next morning brandishing the raw intelligence. “See,” he exclaimed, “Cheating! We got to blow it open.” It came from an agent inside North Korea who subsequently fled to the south. “It was credible single-source reporting,” said a senior U.S. intelligence official. A former senior intelligence official said, “In 2002, we had some reporting from one source that was credible but not complete, that caused us to go back and look again at the material that had been hard to interpret.” (Chinoy, Meltdown, pp. 82-84; cf., Broad and Sanger 8/25/08 for source) DepSecSt Armitage testimony: “This administration in June of ‘02 had a national intelligence estimate, which had as its primary [purpose] to make an assessment of how many weapons North Korea could possibly possess, and they came out with an estimate of one to two weapons possibly based on the amount, as they understood it, of unaccounted for fuel in 1992, which the IAEA had identified. In a very small portion of that NIE national intelligence estimate in June of ‘02, there were a few comments about a growing belief that North Korea had engaged in at least an R&D project for highly enriched uranium. In July of ‘02, the administration received very good intelligence which made us dramatically change our assessment from the DPRK being involved in just an R&D program. And we found, for instance, an order of magnitude difference in the estimate that we’d received, how many centrifuges they might be obtaining vice what we received in new intelligence, which showed that they were receiving and acquiring many, many more than it was originally thought. And it led us to a rather intensive study which resulted in September of ‘02 in a memo to consumers from the Intelligence Committee which said that in our view the North Koreans had embarked on a production program, no longer an R&D program. This rather dramatically changed the presentation that my colleague, Assistant Secretary Kelly, was going to make in Pyongyang from a rather bold approach that tried to address all the security concerns on the Korean peninsula in exchange for a rather robust, new relationship with North Korea to an absolute necessity for us to confront the North Koreans with this information that we had about their program for highly enriched uranium, which of course Jim Kelly did.” (U.S., Congress, Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Hearing, February 4, 2003) Over the summer, U.S. intelligence ha tracked shipments of aluminum tubes from Russia. There were close to a hundred other items that analysts had followed. Some came aboard a cargo plane commandeered by A.Q. Khan. (Sanger, The Inheritance, pp. 306-7) Some the early evidence came from South Korean intelligence agencies. (p. 308) Pritchard: “I was convinced that the information that I had access to in late June 2002 clearly demonstrated that the North had embarked on a program to create nuclear weapons using highly enriched uranium. More important than my own analysis was the fact that the intelligence community was unanimous in its view that North Korea had already obtained a certain level of equipment and expertise and had embarked on a program that, if left unchecked, would result in a uranium-based nuclear weapons program.” (Pritchard, Failed Diplomacy, p, 28)

“Washington informed North Korea it would send a delegation headed by James Kelly, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, to Pyongyang on July 10.” (Don Oberdorfer,Korea and the United States: Partnership under Stress,” Perspectives, 3, No. 1 (Summer 2002)

The North and South exchange naval fire in the West Sea. Two North Korean patrol boats approached South Korean fishing boats crabbing north of the disputed northern limit line. Challenged by eight South Korean naval vessels and rammed by one, they opened fire and sank a speedboat, leaving six dead and 18 wounded. The South Koreans returned fire, disabling one North Korean craft and causing an unknown number of casualties. According to Lim Dong-won, an analysis “raised the possibility that the North Korean naval unit (the 8th Battle Group) had deliberately launched the provocation to take revenge for their humiliating defeat near Yeonpyeong Island three years earlier.” President Kim ordered a “strong protest” but to take steps to “prevent escalation.” The next morning, the North sent a message via the hotline, “This incident was not deliberately planned or intended. We confirm that people of lower ranks on the local level were solely responsible for this unintended clash. We regret this has happened.” They added, “Let’s work together to never let it happen again.” A few days later, USFK informed the South that there was no sign the attack had been ordered by any command higher than the 8th Battle Group. (Hwang Jang-jin, “Military Acknowledges Communications Blunder,” Korea Herald, July 8, 2002; Lim, Peacemaker, pp. 319-20) Given that the new economic policies were about to be promulgated in 48 hours, it is hard to believe that the naval incident had Kim Jong-il’s blessing ahead of time. (Oberdorfer and Carlin, The Two Koreas, p. 363)

The North, acting as if nothing untoward had happened, congratulated the South on its World Cup soccer performance.

Pyongyang promulgates far-reaching economic reforms that frees some prices to rise, increases wages, adjusted exchange rates, and gives considerable leeway to industrial enterprises, private farming, markets, and special economic zones.

U.S. withdraws request for July 10 meeting, “citing the inappropriateness of meeting with the DPRK in the wake of the West Sea incident,” writes Pritchard. “When we discovered that Pyongyang had begun in earnest a program designed to give it a nuclear weapons capability denied by the Agreed Framework, it became obvious we could not proceed to Pyongyang and lay out the bold approach concept, which the North understood to be a possible roadmap to normalization of relations with Washington.” Seoul “urged us to ignore the naval clash and proceed with our proposed meeting in Pyongyang. … To be clear, we had not yet informed Seoul of our most recent concerns or shared any information about Pyongyang’s HEU program. … Pritchard adds, “The postponed trip was one that the DPRK Foreign Ministry had wanted to occur, and the ministry was looking for a way out of this unexpected problem. …In an early July 2002 telephone call to the DPRK’s UN mission in New York, I suggested that Pyongyang take the initiative to resolve the West Sea incident as quickly as possible. … It did convey to Seoul its regret over the loss of life in the West Sea incident, paving the way for future contact with the United States. In late July, Pyongyang indicated a willingness to accept a rescheduled U.S. visit.” (Pritchard, Failed Diplomacy, pp. 29-30) “The real reason for the postponement was the new intelligence assessment that suggested the need for a reinterpretation of the North’s enrichment program. The analysis was not based on any direct knowledge of how far the program had actually developed; rather, it was a synthesis of information about material and machinery the North had procured — or sought to procure — over the past several years.” (Oberdorfer and Carlin, The Two Koreas, p. 363)

“Citing the gun battle, the U.S. administration withdrew its offer to send its delegation. It failed to inform Seoul in advance that it was doing so.” (Don Oberdorfer,Korea and the United States: Partnership under Stress,” Perspectives, 3, No. 1 (Summer 2002) “There is a fundamental disagreement over how to approach the North Korea problem. There is fear in some quarters, particularly the Pentagon and at times in the vice president’s office, that if we were to engage in discussions with the North Koreans, we might wind up with the bad end of the deal. They believe that we should be able to pronounce our view and everyone else, including the North Koreans, should simply accept it. This is not a reasonable approach. Those of us in the State Department concluded: from the North Korean point of view, the nuclear issue is the only reason we Americans talk with them. Therefore, the North Koreans would be very reluctant to let go of the nuclear program. We knew it was going to be a very difficult process. But you have to start somewhere. You start by finding out what their needs and desires are and seeing if there is a way of meeting those needs and desires without giving away something that is sacred to us.” (The Oriental Economist, 74, No. 3 (March 2006), pp. 14-15)

Pyongyang reassures Seoul it would “smoothly promote dialogue and cooperation.” (Agence France Presse, “North Korea Vows to Push for Dialogue with South Korea,” July 4, 2002)

Pakistan flies through China’s air space to North Korea to pick up missile parts. (New York Times, November 24, 2002) (Shirley A. Kan, China and Proliferation of WMD and Missiles, Congressional Research Service Report, November 15, 2006, p. 20)

Alan Foley, chief of the Office of Weapons Intelligence, Non-Proliferation and Arms Control (WINPAC) at CIA urged Bolton to examine what the intelligence community had recently written on what North Korea was trying to purchase for EU. “This was the hammer I was looking for to shatter the Agreed Framework.” (Bolton, Surrender Is Not an Option, pp. 105-6)

Meeting on intelligence and policy response to uranium enrichment estimate chaired by Marc Grossman, under secstate for political affairs. “I wanted a decisive conclusion that the Agreed Framework was dead.” That morning, “I first briefed [DepSecState Richard] Armitage on what I intended to say to Grossman and [assistant secretary James] Kelly, knowing that Kelly would tell Powell as soon as I left his office.” At the meeting at 3:30 that afternoon Bolton recalls saying “We faced not merely a technical violation of the framework, but a gross breakdown of the entire policy it reflected. Accordingly, I said, we needed to reach a common understanding that the framework was in the tank, and then move promptly to address the range of policy issues that would immediately emerge: how and when to tell Congress and the American people; how and when to brief our friends and allies (and the IAEA); and what military and other contingency plans to make in the event of an irrational North Korea reaction. … Kelly responded that there was still disagreement about exactly when North Korea would have enough highly enriched uranium to make a warhead, which was true but irrelevant to the point that the DPRK was violating the Agreed Framework. He also said that the North might begin reprocessing plutonium if we announced the demise of the framework, and that South Korea and Japan would certainly be surprised. As for plutonium, I said it was a top matter for contingency planning, but not a reason to save the Agreed Framework. Consultations with Japan and South Korea needed to be at the top of the ‘to do’ list once we decided that the framework was in fact in the grave. Grossman agreed and said we needed to move quickly or we would be in the unfortunate position of responding to a crisis instead o managing it.” [Gotcha versus security] (Bolton, Surrender Is Not an Option, pp. 107-8)

Bush, told by Powell of UE. says, “We cannot sit on this intelligence.” Rice frets about managing UE and Iraq at the same time. She tells Robert Joseph, NSC senior director for proliferation to prepare press guidance if the intelligence started to leak. “As part of our exist strategy [from the Agreed Framework]?” he asked and Rice said yes. (Bolton, Surrender Is Not an Option, p. 109)

Responding to South Korean demands, North Korea issued public apology for the June 29 incident, the first public apology in its history. (Lim, Peacemaker, p. 322)

In a telephone call to Panmunjom, the North said it “regretted the unexpected armed clash” and asked for cabinet-level talks with the South DPRK. (Kim Ji-ho, “North Proposes Resumption of Dialogue with S. Korea,” Korea Herald, July 26, 2002, p. 1)

Second battle of Yonpyeong Island resulted in the sinking of a ROK patrol boat and the deaths of six South Korean sailors. Mainichi Shimbun reported on 2 July 2002 that the ROK government informed the U.S. and Japan of its analysis that the naval clash was more likely accidental than premeditated after examining North Korean communications collected by ROK military intelligence. Even though Unit 5679 is only tasked with collection and the KDIA is the final authority on analysis of intelligence data, the unit said it believed the NLL incursion was intentional and that the KPA navy was preparing an attack; hence, the urgency of the message. The JCS, KDIA and defense ministry rejected Unit 5679’s initial assessment of “intentional incursion” and concluded the NLL crossing was “accidental or unintentional.” The JCS said the KPA patrol boat appeared to be escorting North Korean fishing vessels in that area and there were no unusual movements. However, on the same day as the intercept — 13 June — satellite imagery indicated that the KPA had moved silkworm anti-ship missiles out of their tunnels so they could be fired with little notice; this failed to trigger a reassessment by the KDIA.The next day, KDIA and JCS general officers held a meeting that was attended by Major General Han Chol-yong, commander of Unit 5679. Han asserts that he warned the other generals about KPA intentions but they dismissed his concerns and told him he was overreacting. On 19 June, Major General Kwon Yong-dal, director of intelligence (J-2) for the JCS, told the press that “North Korea seems to have a self-imposed line aimed at preventing a fleet of boats fishing for bluecrabs from operating outside its waters … in the wake of the naval conflict off Yonpyeong Island [in 1999].” Kwon also said the incursions at that time were considered “accidental because only one patrol boat usually intruded … and it immediately retreated without countering our patrol boats’ Warnings.’ The ROK prevailing view at the time was that KPA patrol boats had no hostile intent; this assessment was repeated on 27 June when another KPA patrol ship crossed the NLL. Also on 27 June, Unit 5679 again intercepted communications between the 8th Operational Command and a KPA patrol boat in which the command allegedly mentioned the word “fire” once, and the patrol ship responded, “we will fire as soon as we get the order to fire.” Unit 5679 apparently reported the intercepted data to its higher command, but the JCS and KDIA ignored it again and did not include an assessment of the intercepted communications in the consolidated intelligence report for the Combined Forces Command and others. According to Han Chol-yong, the information was sent to General Nam Jae-jun, deputy commander of the CFC under U.S. General Leon LaPorte, but Nam (former NIS director who resigned on 22 May 2014) either missed the report or decided not to pass the information to LaPorte. Nam claims that he did not receive any special intelligence from Unit 5679 regarding the likelihood of a KPA provocation. The following day, one day before the clash, two KPA patrol boats crossed the NLL and retreated about an hour later, but the JCS J-2 maintained that they were simply guarding North Korean fishing boats. These were the same patrol boats that were engaged in the clash and sunk the ROK patrol boat the next day. After the exchange of fire and the sinking of the boat, the JCS still maintained that it was an accident. Han Chol-yong asserts that U.S. General LaPorte paid an unscheduled visit to the ROK defense ministry on 5 July to meet with Defense Minister Kim Dong-shin. LaPorte brought analytical staff and intelligence to support the hypothesis that the recent KPA patrol boat incursions across the NLL were intentional and that the 29 June battle was a planned ambush against the ROK patrol boat. Han asserts that this meeting influenced the ROK defense ministry to change its official position on 7 July regarding the nature of the KPA naval incursions across the NLL and DPRK intent. Attention subsequently shifted to the question of whether the battle could have been foreseen and averted. Some South Korean media reported that ROK military intelligence had failed to collect data on the KPA’s intention to attack, but during the National Assembly’s annual audit and hearings in October 2002, it was disclosed that Unit 5679 had intercepted communications indicating an imminent KPA navy attack and had reported them to its higher command. In sum, the June 2002 Yonpyeong naval battle raised questions as to the politicization or distortions of intelligence at several levels. (Crisis Group, Risks of Intelligence Pathologies in South Korea, August 5, 2014, pp. 24-26)

SecState Powell, acting on his own, arranges “chance meeting” with DPRK Foreign Minister Paek Nam-sun at the ASEAN Forum in Brunei on July 31, 2002, the highest-level contact with Pyongyang since the administration took office. Pritchard writes, “In reality, nothing had been left to chance. … To ensure that the chance meeting would occur I arranged for Ed Dong, director for Korean affairs at the State Department, to travel to Brunei and assist in making whatever arrangements were necessary. … Powell had made the decision to meet with Paek on his own, without prior consultation with the White House. Following press reports of the meeting, there were howls of indignation from the hard-line group within the administration …” (Pritchard, Failed Diplomacy, p. 30) Powell recounted, “I told them the president wants to take a new look at this, a bold approach. Please convey to your leadership how the president feels in a compassionate way about your people. We’re not looking to attack you or invade you or anything like that. We want to get talking again. And I said, to get started I’d like to send Mr. Kelly to Pyongyang. And Paek immediately said, ‘As soon as you ask, permission will be granted.” Powell’s brief meeting infuriated hard-liners in Washington. (Chinoy, Meltdown, p. 95) Powell warned Paek that when Kelly came to Pyongyang, he would raise some tough issues, i.e., UE. (Oberdorfer and Carlin, The Two Koreas, p. 368)

FMs Kawaguchi Yoriko and Paek meet in Brunei

In August New World Trading Slovakia in Bratislava seized along with documents of missile technology exports to Egypt, Libya, Iran, Syria, Vietnam. Owners Kim Kum-jin, former econ adviser in DPRK’s Cairo embassy, and partner Sun Hui-ri deported. (Joby Warrick, “N. Korea Shops Stealthily for Nuclear Arms Gear,” Washington Post, August 15, 2003, p. A-19)

Jack Pritchard, U.S. special envoy for North Korea, attends concrete-pouring ceremony at Kumho. Pritchard writes, “I finally got Tom Hubbard, the U.S. ambassador to Seoul, to riase the issue from an alliance management perspective. Our South Korea allies were very uncomfortable that no decision had been made, and they were embarrassed at the prospect of the U.S. KEDO board member boycotting an event that had been organized for the most part by the South Korean contractor at the LWR site. In the end, I received Powell’s permission to participate in the event, one hour before I was scheduled to leave my home for the airport. Again, the decision to allow me to attend was made by Powell, without consultation with the White House.” (Pritchard, Failed Diplomacy, p. 32)

Japan-DPRK Red Cross talks in Pyongyang

SecDef Donald Rumsfeld in letter to President Bush says, “I believe that the situations in Iran and North Korea are sufficiently interesting and unsettled that fashioning a major U.S. government effort, for the most part confidential, to undermine the current regimes and encourage regime change from within is worth consideration.” SecState Powell and JCS Chairman Myers, who had been deliberately left off Rumsfeld’s routing list, learned of the end run, they went to Rice to voice objection. (David Crist, The Twilight War: The Secret History of America’s Thirty-Year Conflict with Iran (New York: Penguin, 2012), p. 446)

Bush interview: “I loathe Kim Jong-il. I’ve got a visceral reaction to this guy because he is starving his people. …They tell me, we don’t need to move too fast [against Kim] because the financial burdens on his people will be so immense if we try to — if this guy were to topple. Who would take care — I don’t buy that. Either you believe in freedom … and worry about the human condition, or you don’t. I don’t know if this gives you insight into how I think.” Elaborating, he said that underlying his foreign policy “there is a value system that cannot be compromised, and that is the values we praise. And if the values are good enough for our people, they ought to be good enough for others, not in a way to impose them because these are God-given values. These aren’t United States-created values. These are values of freedom and the human condition and mothers loving their children.” Yet simply proclaiming these values is not enough. “You can’t talk your way to a solution to a problem, Bush said. “And the United States is ina unique position right now. We are the leader. And a leader must combine its ability to listen to others, along with action. Any success the United States achieves on its own, Bush suggested, will strengthen its ability to build an international coalition, and he was dismissive of charges that the U.S. government acts unilaterally. “If somebody wants to try to say something ugly about us, ‘Bush is a unilateralist. America is unilateral,’ you know, which I find amusing.” (Bob Woodward, “A Course of ‘Confident Action’: Bush Says Other Countries Will Follow Assertive U.S. in War on Terrorism,” Washington Post, November 19, 2002, p. A-1.)

Sigal op-ed: “North Korea is now warning that it may break the October 1994 ‘agreed framework’ with the U.S. that froze its nuclear arms program. … Pyongyang has threatened to resume nuclear bomb-making as a way of pressuring Washington to live up to its end of the bargain — delivering a replacement reactor by 2003, easing economic sanctions and taking other steps to end enmity. … It seems as if the unilateralists on the right wing of the Bush administration are eager to trash the agreed framework, no matter what. …Diplomatic give and take also offers the best way to address the administration’s other nuclear concerns. Undersecretary of State John Bolton has accused North Korea, along with Iraq, of having ‘covert nuclear weapons programs, in violation of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.’ On June 1, referring to North Korea as well as Iraq, President Bush threatened to ‘confront the worst threats before they emerge.’ But even if other nuclear sites do exist in North Korea, how can they be attacked without knowing their precise location? Saber rattling also puts the U.S. squarely in the way of North-South reconciliation and antagonizes Japan and China as well. Bluffing has never worked before with Pyongyang, and it won’t work now. Sooner or later, every president since Ronald Reagan has given diplomatic give and take a try, to good effect. President Bush needs to take a lesson from his predecessors and do the same.” (“Bluff and Bluster Never Are Effective With North Korea,” Los Angeles Times, August 20, 2002, p. B-13) Rodong Sinmun took note of the article. (Oberdorfer and Carlin, The Two Koreas, p. 368)

Japan-DPRK high-level talks in Pyongyang at level of director-general. KCNA: “A joint press release on department director-level talks of the foreign ministries of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Japan was made public here on Monday. The press release reads: Department director-level talks of the foreign ministries of the DPRK and Japan took place in Pyongyang on August 25 and 26. Present at the talks were Ma Chol Su, director of the department of Asian affairs, from the DPRK side and Hitoshi Tanaka, director of the Asia-Oceania department, from the Japanese side.

  1. Both sides shared the view that the talks between the DPRK and Japanese foreign ministers held in Brunei Darussalam marked an important occasion in improving the bilateral relations in the future.
  2. Sharing the view that it is important to improve the DPRK-Japan relations and establish diplomatic ties between the two countries for regional peace and stability, both sides had an exhaustive discussion on all the matters related to it including the settlement of the past and pending issues such as humanitarian issues. They were of the view that it is essential to have a political will for the solution to those issues.
  3. Both sides shared the view that it is important to work for detente in the Korean peninsula and the areas around it and promote talks with the parties concerned in this regard and agreed to make necessary efforts for this.
  4. Both sides welcomed the talks held between their red cross organizations for the solution of humanitarian issues. It was agreed that the governments would approach the talks with sincerity for an earlier settlement of the pending issues and render active cooperation in Red Cross activities in future.
  5. Both sides negotiated the issue of aiding Korean A-bomb victims and decided to further negotiations at working level in the future, taking note of the Japanese side’s mode of aiding all a-bomb victims abroad.
  6. Both sides agreed to examine the possibility of resuming at an early date the talks for opening the diplomatic relations by way of pushing ahead with a package solution of all issues related to the normalization of relations and pending problems between the DPRK and Japan and make efforts to reach a consensus of views on them in a month to come. To this end, they agreed to hold negotiations anytime they deem necessary.”

(KCNA, “Joint Press Release on DPRK-Japan Talks,” August 26, 2002)

Koizumi, Fukuda tell DepSecSt Armitage, Amb. Howard Baker about KJI summit; he tells them about uranium enrichment program. ROK official: “Information that NK was committing to a new nuclear program around June and July,” probably referring to intell exchange (JoongAng Ilbo, “The Second North Korean Nuclear Crisis: The Untold Story,” p. 5) Tanaka Hitoshi recalled asking Armitage, “Are you opposed tio the prime minister’s trip to North Korea? Are you opposed to Japanese negotiations with North Korea? We have very significant problems … the abductions and all sorts of things. Are you willing to resolve this for us?” (Chinoy, Meltdown, p. 98) Armitage told that in about 72 hours Koizumi would announce plans to visit Pyongyang. The Japanese went over the Pyongyang Declaration word by word according to one of the participants. The Japanese had received early warning about the uranium enrichment program during the APEC summit in July. They had suspected something ever since the Clinton administration had asked them to stop sending material to North Korea that could be used for enriching uranium. What did surprise them was that the Bush administration had not raised the UE issue for two years, then suddenly it shot to the top of the agenda. (Oberdorfer and Carlin, The Two Koreas, pp. 361-62)

Bolton tells ROK FM Choi Sung-hong about HEU program and DefMin Lee Jun 8/29 Senior ROK official: “South Korea’s National Intelligence Agency had also informed the US about this. The two countries hold an information evaluation meeting every quarter. … But Mr. Bolton argued there was convincing new information. … We believed that the US information was just a piece of a large picture. We also thought that the US was trying to produce ‘artificial rain’.” (JoongAng Ilbo, “The Second North Korean Nuclear Crisis: The Untold Story,” p. 4-5)

Ambassador Howard Baker, who learned that PM Koizumi planned to visit North Korea, briefly tells him about UE. (Bolton, Surrender Is Not an Option, pp. 110-11)

Under SecState Bolton delivers what one administration official characterizes as a “bellicose and threatening” speech in Seoul: “The 38th parallel serves as a dividing line between freedom and oppression, between right and wrong. The brave forces of our two countries stand ready to defend against an evil regime that is armed to the teeth, including with weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles.” (Ben Barber, “U.S. Weighs N. Korea Speech,” Washington Times, August 22, 2002, p. 1; George Gedda, “US to Test North Korea on Arms,” Associated Press, October 2, 2002) When Ambassador Thomas Hubbard asked Bolton to remove the reference to “axis of evil” from the speech, Bolton replied, “The President said it. I’m going to say it too. It’s the truth.” (Chinoy, Meltdown, p. 99) Bolton later dismissed Hubbard as “a clear example of clientitis, wholly reflecting Kim Dae-jung’s views on almost every issue.” (Bolton, Surrender Is Not an Option, p. 111)

Bolton told the ROK defense minister and an assistant foreign minister, “North Korea’s highly enriched uranium program has reached a dangerous level” and would pose a major obstacle to improved relations. Lim recalls, “With no clear evidence presented and in the absence of a joint assessment between South Korean and U.S. intelligence agencies, it was inappropriate to give credence to the untrustworthy political statement of Undersecretary Bolton, who had frequently made hostile statements. Our government decided not to be concerned with Bolton’s warning until a credible joint assessment with the support of evidence by U.S. and Korean intelligence agencies was established; instead, the South decided to continue the development of inter-Korean relations. Bearing in mind the inaccurate information from the United States about the ‘Kumchangni underground nuclear facilities,’ we held our firm position that we should not be shaken by distorted and overblown information. ” (Lim, Peacemaker, pp. 324-25)

Chief Cabinet Secy Fukuda announces Koizumi-KJI summit

DPRK Foreign Ministry spokesman “as regards U.S. undersecretary of state John Bolton’s recent vituperation against the DPRK. Bolton during his recent trip to south Korea made malignant accusations against the DPRK, saying that it has the most powerful offensive biological weapon program on earth, it is posing a threat by developing weapons of mass destruction and smuggling missiles and their technologies and that it must accept a nuclear inspection. Known as a standard-bearer among the notorious hard-line hawks of the Bush administration Bolton never opens his month without making anti-DPRK remarks, bereft of reason. Therefore, his recent outbursts do not deserve even a passing note. But if there is any security issue over which the U.S. should worry, it is entirely attributable to the Bush administration’s hostile policy toward the DPRK. The DPRK clarified more than once that if the U.S. has a will to drop its hostile policy toward the DPRK it will have dialogue with the U.S. to clear the U.S. of its worries over its security. This principled stand of the DPRK over the bilateral dialogue remains unchanged and the ball is in the court of the U.S. side.” (KCNA, “U.S. State Undersecretary’s Remarks under Fire,” August 31, 2002)

Dep SecState Armitage in interview says State is ready to send Kelly to Pyongyang but that the problems between the U.S. and the DPRK were not so simple that they could be fixed by a one-time visit by Koizumi. (Mainichi Shimbun, September 5, 2002, quoted in Sugita Yoneyuki, “A Never-Ending Story: Inflating the Threat from North Korea,” The Journal of Pacific Asia, 11 (2004) p. 57)

In phone call prior to meeting in New York, Bush tells Koizumi US would support DPRK normalization only if it abandons nuclear program, senior US official says. (Mainichi, “Bush, Koizumi Talks Detailed Policy on N. Korea, November 30, 2002) The Japanese foreign minister, Kawaguchi Yoriko, pressed both Colin and me to send a U.S. delegation to North Korea. Koizumi made the same request of the President a couple of days later in a phone call. However, with the exception of State, there was little enthusiasm among the NSC Principals for a trip. I felt that we needed to be responsive to the Japanese and South Koreans and that the policy of isolation would go nowhere if it remained unilateral. After Koiozumi’s call, I stayed behind and talked to the President. ‘Why don’t you just authorize Kelly to go?’ I asked. I added he could take a tough message but that it would help our friends. The President said he would think about it and the next morning told me we could go ahead. But he wanted the North to understand that we had toughened our stance, not softened it. I did not mention my conversation with him to anyone except Steve Hadley. Before putting the issue of Kelly’s trip back onto the table in the NSC, I’d wanted to have a ‘steer’ from the President. I often did this with controversial matters oput before the NSC because the likelihood of a good outcome was increased if I knew in advance the limits of the President’s tolerance. In this case it was clear that he wouldn’t tolerate very much. After considerable debate, Kelly’s trip was rescheduled for October.” (Rice, No Higher Honor, pp. 160-61)

KDJ: “I believe there will be a breakthrough between the two countries after the summit.”(JoongAng Ilbo, “The Second North Korean Nuclear Crisis: The Untold Story,” p. 4)

Principals Committee meeting concludes the DPRK had effectively killed the Agreed Framework. (Bolton, Surrender Is Not an Option, p. 112)

Bush-Koizumi meet in NY, discuss UE. US official familiar with the meeting: “The message to Koizumi was to be careful what concessions and promises you make.” (Carla Anne Robbins, David S. Cloud, and Greg Jaffe, “North Korea Complicates Bush ‘Axis of Evil’ Strategy,” Wall Street Journal, October 18, 2002, p. 1) Bush’s harsh depiction of Kim Jong-il shocks Koizumi (Doug Struck and Glenn Kessler, “Hints on N. Korea Surfaced in 2000,” Washington Post, October 19, 2002, p. A-19) “You may not like Kim Jong-il,” Koizumi told Bush. “Kim Jong-il is not a likeable person. He can’t be trusted. But you should have direct talks.” (Chinoy, Meltdown, pp. 98-99)

Gen. Leon LaPorte, USFK tells DefMin Lee Jun about HEU: “We have heard about the issue from Mr. Bolton and discussed it with the National Security Council.” Lee says ROK will proceed with 9/18 ceremony linking inter-Korean rail lines (JoongAng Ilbo, “The Second North Korean Nuclear Crisis: The Untold Story,” p. 4)

TCOG in SF: Tanaka discusses Koizumi-KJI summit (James L. Schoff, Tools for Trilateralism (Dulles, VA: Potomac Books, 2005), p. A10)

Sinuiji Special Administrative Zone established by DPRK decree

Japan’s Coast Guard raises suspected North Korean spy ship Japan sunk in December

Kim Jong-il in a written response to questions from Kyodo news service says, “The abnormal relations between them that have lasted for over half a century since the end of the Second World War are, in every respect, harmful to either of them. Normalizing relations between the two countries and developing good-neighbourly relations accords with the aspirations and interests of the peoples of the two countries, and it is an urgent demand of the times. Korea and Japan are Asian nations. They should live in friendship as nearest neighbors, not as near yet distant neighbors, and promote coexistence and co-prosperity. This is our will and consistent standpoint. The politicians of Korea and Japan are now entrusted with the historic mission to normalize the abnormal relations between the two countries. If responsible statesmen make decisions from a large point of view and get down to the task in order to realize the people’s desires and interests and fulfill their noble historic mission, they will be able to find solutions to any problems existing between the two countries. Prime Minister Koizumi will soon visit Pyongyang, and this will be a turning point in normalizing Korea-Japan relations. I welcome his visit to my country and believe that our meeting and talks will bring forth good fruits. We must open up a new chapter in the historical relationship between Korea and Japan by our common will and joint effort to improve their relations in every possible way. The basic problem that must be solved to normalize Korea-Japan relations is to clean up the past unpleasant events that have taken place between the two countries. If nothing is done to the history of rancor that has accumulated for a whole century, neither the normalization of state relations nor good-neighborly, friendly relations can be realized. Japan’s settlement of past necessitates a sincere apology and due compensation that takes into full consideration the whole range of damage and sufferings it inflicted upon the Korean people. The lack of solution to these core issues has so far curbed the improvement of the bilateral relations and presented a variety of complicated problems. The two countries are now tied up hand and foot, trapped as they are in mud-slinging over minor issues, but these will be settled smoothly when bilateral relations improve and mutual confidence is built. An end to abnormal relations will also dissipate the security concerns of the Japanese people.” (KCNA, “Kim Jong-il’s Answers to Questions Raised by President of Kyodo News Service,” September 14, 2002)

Powell discusses HEU with ROK FM Choi, who stresses dialogue, keeping PU frozen

Koizumi-KJI summit. Pyongyang Declaration signed by KJI: “The DPRK side expressed its will to extend its moratorium on missile tests beyond 2003 in the spirit of the declaration.” In secret talks, Japan had three contacts. Tanaka Hitoshi’s contact was a Mr. X, a military officer with close ties to Kim Jong-il. (Kyodo, “Foreign Ministry Had 3 N. Korean Contacts in Pre-Summit Talks,” March 8, 2003) “With Washington applying the brakes to its dialogue with Pyongyang, it is very difficult for Japan to go the road alone. On the other hand, the fact that the United States, an ally of Japan, is taking a tough stance can be used as leverage to resolve outstanding problems between Japan and North Korea. It seems likely that Pyongyang wants improved relations with Washington. Thus, if Japan were to promote dialogue between North Korea and the United States, then improved relations with Japan would be in North Korea’s own security interests.” (Hiramatsu Kenji, “Leadup to the Signing of the Japan-DPRK Pyongyang Declaration,” Gaiko Forum, (Winter 2003), 23) Koizumi: “I believe Kim Jong-il invited me to Pyongyang last year because basiucally he did want to normalize relations with Japan.” (Lee Kyong-hee, “Koizumi: N.K. Wants Improved Ties with Japan,” Korea Herald, December 3, 2003) Kim Jong-il tells Koizumi, “During the 1970s and early 1980s, there were some elements in my country’s special security agency that turned toward rash acts and heroism. The people responsible have been punished, and I would like to apologize straightforwardly for this tragedy.” KJI used the same words his father did in apologizing for the attempted assassination of Park Chung-hee, says former UnifMin Kan In-duk. “Given that acknowledging the crime was unavoidable for normalizing Japanese-North Korean relations, it was inevitable that he’s do so sooner or later.” Yomiuri Shimbun, “The Enigmatic Kim Jong-il: Seoul’s Struggles with Pyongyang Offer Japan Invaluable Lessons,” February 28, 2004) On September 17, 2002, the Japanese Prime Minister, Koizumi Junichiro, flew from Tokyo across the D.M.Z. in order to begin the process of normalizing diplomatic relations—a condition of which was accounting for the Japanese citizens who had been held in Korean custody. North Korea waited until the last possible moment to hand over the list of surviving and deceased abductees: the North admitted to kidnapping thirteen people, eight of whom the regime claimed were dead, all under suspicious circumstances. Only five were said to be alive. Kim Jong-il entered the negotiation room wearing his signature khaki-colored military jacket. “As the host, I regret that we had to make the Prime Minister of Japan come to Pyongyang so early in the morning in order to open a new chapter in the D.P.R.K.-Japan relationship,” Kim said. Reading from a memo pad, Kim explained to Koizumi that he wanted to initiate “a truly neighborly relationship” with Japan. “I, too, hope that the opportunity that this meeting presents will greatly advance bilateral relations between our two countries,” Koizumi replied. But then his tone grew stern. “I was utterly distressed by the information that was provided,” he began. “I ask that you arrange a meeting for us with the surviving abductees. And I would like you to make an outright apology.” Kim listened in silence, looking uncomfortable. After a long pause, he suggested, “Shall we take a break now?” When the negotiations resumed, Kim got right to the point. “We have thoroughly investigated this matter,” he read to the room. “Decades of adversarial relations between our two countries provided the background of this incident. It was, nevertheless, an appalling incident.” Kim continued, “It is my understanding that this incident was initiated by special-mission organizations in the nineteen-seventies and eighties, driven by blindly motivated patriotism and misguided heroism.” He explained that the purpose of the abductions was to find people to teach its agents Japanese, and to steal identities with which to infiltrate the South. “As soon as their scheme and deeds were brought to my attention, those who were responsible were punished.” The North Koreans claimed that the two people responsible for the abduction of Yokota Megumi, whose kidnapping was highly publicized, had been tried and found guilty in 1998. One was executed and the other was serving a fifteen-year sentence. “I would like to take this opportunity to apologize straightforwardly for the regrettable conduct of those people. I will not allow that to happen again,” Kim promised. It was inconceivable to Koizumi that a program like this could have existed without Kim’s knowledge, especially since he was in charge of espionage operations during the years that most of the abductions occurred. Despite his misgivings, Koizumi signed the Pyongyang Declaration at a ceremony at five-thirty that afternoon. The event was immortalized on a North Korean postage stamp. On October 16, 2002, a photograph of five middle-aged Japanese people—two couples and a single woman, all wearing boxy nineteen-fifties-era suits, ties, and skirts—seen descending from a Boeing 767 at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport appeared in newspapers across the globe. The New York Times headline read: “Tears and Hugs as 5 Abducted Japanese Go Home to Visit.” Hasuike Kaoru and Okudo Yukiko, Soga Hitomi, and two others returned to Japan twenty-four years after they had been abducted. Soga’s husband, Jenkins, remained in Pyongyang with their daughters. The major Japanese television stations ran specials and live coverage all day, devoting thirty hours to the homecoming. It would take nineteen more months of negotiations, and several hundred thousand tons of rice, before the abductees’ children were allowed to reunite with their parents in Japan. The return left the public feeling simultaneously aghast at North Korea’s treachery and patronized by the Japanese government’s incompetence. Within a week, national support for normalizing relations with North Korea, which Koizumi had championed, plunged from eighty-one per cent to forty-four per cent. Soon, every major political party included dealing with the abductions in its official election agenda. When Abe Shinzō became Prime Minister, in 2006, one of his first acts was to establish the Headquarters for the Abduction Issue, a cabinet-level office with an enormous budget to coördinate the government’s abduction-related efforts. It produced films, comic books, and cartoons about the kidnappings. Abe also ordered NHK, the government-funded broadcaster, to increase its already extensive coverage of the abductions. (Robert S. Boynton, “North Korea’s Abduction Project,” The New Yorker, December 21, 2015)

North and South hold groundbreaking ceremonies for relinking railroads and roads. Lim notes, “the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), which had always exercises jurisdiction of the DMZ under the United Nations Command, tried several times to interfere with the construction of a ‘peace corridor’ in the DMZ. Secretary Rumsfeld and other hardliners openly tried to block the projects relinking the railways and roads between the North and the South. … To undertake the construction of the east coast railway line, we needed an agreement between the UNC and the DPRK to transfer the jurisdiction of the DMZ to the North and the South. In sharp contrast to the Clinton administration, which two years earlier actively supported the construction of a peace corridor to the west coast with its full blessing, Secretary Rumsfeld refused to turn it over to South Korea. Determining that this issue would not be resolved between the ROK and the U.S. DoD, we chose to utilize a direct channel between the two presidential offices, the Blue House and the White House. Senior Secretary Yim Sung-joon for National Security and Foreign Affairs talked to National Security Adviser Rice on the phone and faxed her President Kim Dae-jung’s resolute position on the projects, stating that he hoped the White House would resolve the issue for him. At the DoD’s instructions, General Leon LaPorte, Commander of the U.S. forces in Korea, asked our defense minister if he really wanted to carry out the project of connecting the railways and roads in spite of North Korea’s HEU program. The deputy chief of mission at the American embassy in Seoul was asking the Blue House the same question. It was clear they were going to resist the development of inter-Korean relations based on their suspicions of North Korea’s HEUP. Our government maintained the position that ‘we would deal with the HEUP issue when we obtained evidence of it.’ Our government firmly believed that improved inter-Korean relations could contribute to the resolution of the nuclear issue. We expressed our resolute position to carry out the project of connecting the railways and roads without fail. We strongly urged the United States to call a meeting of the General Officers Talks at Panmunjom and take the necessary steps to assure the holding of the groundbreaking ceremonies. Confirming our resolute position, the U.S. side finally informed us that it would accommodate our position. At the subsequent General Officers Talks between the UNC and the DPRK OPeople’s Army in Panmunjom, they agreed to ‘turn over the jurisdiction of the area of the DMZ 9the east coast0 to North and South Korea.’ The agreement was followed by an inter-Korean working –level meeting that adopted ‘the agreement of joint North-South management of the east and west coast zones to provide military assurances for the connections of the railways and roads.’ This was done barelyt a day before the scheduled undertaking of the projects.” (Lim, Peacemaker, pp. 325-26)

58% of Japanese in poll back resuming normalization talks, 28% opposed

DPRK announces Sinuiju designated a special administrative region (economic zone) on 9/12. The Chinese charged that the newly appointed “governor,” a Dutch Chinese named Yang Bin, owed millions in taxes and arrested him shortly thereafter and sentenced him to eighteen years in jail. “Perhaps just as likely, as rumors had it at the time, the biggest problem was that Kim had gone ahead with plans for the Sinuiju SAR without consulting the Chinese, something for which Beijing has very little tolerance.” (Oberdorfer and Carlin, The Two Koreas, p. 366)

DPRK senior official at Pugwash conference in Italy: “The era of juche, or self-reliance, has already gone. We are heading for capitalism.” (KT, 10/15/02)

Rumsfeld memo opposes meeting with North. Pritchard: “Instead of delivering the bold approach message, the United States was preparing to confront the DPRK obver its HEU program — but not without some objections. Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld sent a memo to the White House objecting to sending anyone to meet with the North Koreans; however, he noted, if there was going to be a meeting , either Bob Joseph, the senior director for counterproliferation at the National Security Council, or John Bolton, under secretary of state, would be the preferred (and trusted) envoy. Rumsfeld believed that the Agreed Framework was suspended and that we should cut off shipment of the heavy fuel oil that we were continuing to supply to North Korea. He advocated telling Congress and our allies of the intelligence about the North Korean HEU program and then telling the North Koreans what they needed to do to resolve the situation.” (Pritchard, Failed Diplomacy, pp. 32-33)

Pritchard in meeting with PermRep Pak in New York asks for permission for direct flight from Seoul to Pyongyang and passage through the DMZ for U.S. delegation, which was a way to get US-DPRK military cooperation, “confidence-building measures.” He asks for a prompt reply and gets it within 17 hours. “The speed with which Pyongyang approved the request (and all the add-ons) was testimony to how much it valued the opportunity to develop a relationship with the United States and the Bush administration.” (Pritchard, Failed Diplomacy, p. 33)

Deputy DCI John McLaughlin briefs principals’ committee on new NIE saying “North Korea has a production scale enrichment program,” according to one of those involved. [The gist is in 11/22/02 response to Kyl.] McLaughlin recalled his ten-minute summary, “I came in and said, ‘We have a complicated issue here. It’s complicated because I’m not going to put one single piece of intelligence on the table that will show with crystal clarity where we are. I’ve got to take you back a number of years., I’ve got to walk you through some complicated old data and then I’ve got to show you some new pieces that throw a new and different illumination on those old pieces.’” Powell spoke first, asking how confident were they. Others asked whether the CIA knew when it would have a uranium bomb, where the material was located or whether an actual facility existed. Here reiterated there was high confidence the North was acquiring materials consistent with a centrifuge program but the CIA did not know where such a program was based or how far along it was. “There was very high confidence,” said one former senior NSC official, “with no dissent from INR.” One former high-ranking official who had access to the intelligence said, “Nobody has been able to say with confidence that components have been anything more than components.” Said a former senior State Department official, “Based on what we discovered they were trying to purchase, they were years away — five, seven, ten years or more away — from this capability.” (Chinoy, Meltdown, pp. 101-04)

DCI “Unclassified Report to Congress on the Acquisition of Technology Related to WMD and Advanced Conventional Munitions, 1 January-30 June 2002”: “We did not obtain clear evidence indicating that North Korea had begun constructing a centrifuge facility until recently. In 2001 North Korea began seeking centrifuge-related materials in large quantities. It also obtained equipment suitable for uranium feed and withdrawal systems. North Korea’s goal appears to be a plant that could produce enough weapons-grade uranium for two or more nuclear weapons per year when full operational.” Report notes North Korea still procuring missile-related compnenents and material from abroad but drops previous references to those supllies going thourhg North Korean firms in China. (Shirley A. Kan, China and Proliferation of WMD and Missiles, Congressional Research Service Report, November 15, 2006, pp. 19-20)

Cheney, Rumsfeld, Robert Joseph, Bolton oppose talks with North Korea. As fallback, Rumsfeld proposes Bolton or Joseph, not Kelly, to lead the U.S. team. (Pritchard, Failed Diplomacy, pp. 33-34)

FM Kawaguchi Yuriko briefed NSA Rice on Koizumi-Kim summit. After asking Michael Green if she should do so, Kawaguchi urges Rice to send envoy to Pyongyang. (Chinoy, Meltdown, p. 111)

David Straub, director of the Office of Korean Affairs at State drafts talking points for Kelly’s Pyongyang talks stressing the administration’s commitment to the bold approach. Bolton was opposed: “our argument was that the nuclear issue should be front and center,” says Mark Groombridge. “They are indirect violation of the Agreed Framework. End of sentence. Stop.” He, Jodi Green at DoD, Samantha Ravitch at OVP, John Rood at NSC all sought a radical revision of the talking points. Robert Joseph spearheaded the opposition, “What are you going to do, ignore that they’re pursuing nuclear weapons through enriched uranium? Which is in violation of the Agreed Framework and the NPT and the safeguards? Al of those commitments, the North-South Agreement, they violated everything. So what were the options? You could ignore it and go through with the Agreed Framework, which had now been demonstrated to be exactly what any of us thought it was at first. Or you could call them on it, and be serious. You’ve got to be seen as serious if you have any prospect of them giving up their nuclear weapons.” Straub says, “We so-called EAPsers, as we were know, okay, we’re still trying to reach out to them. … So the HEU program, we wanted them to agree to stop it.” Deputy SecDef Paul Wolfowitz and Deputy NSA Stephen Hadley wanted the presentation toughened by language about the conventional military threat and human rights. Ravitch got Vice President to weigh in with the president to put the uranium issue “front and center.” (Chinoy, Meltdown, pp. 112-14)

Rice: “Steve Hadley took the pen and, together with Michael Green, the director for Asian affairs on the NSC, drafted a much tougher approach. Usually there is enough trust in an experienced negotiator that the guidance is used more as points of reference than as a script. But in this case, given the fissures, the points were to be read verbatim. There were literally stage directions for Kelly. He was not to engage the North Koreans in any side conversation in any way. That left him actually moving to the corner of the table to avoid Pyongyang’s representatives.” (Rice, No Higher Honor, p. 161)

Bush telephoned KDJ, says high-level envoy to go to Pyongyang soon, does not mention EU.

Senate Minority Leader Lott (R-MS), Helms (R-NC), Kyl (R-AZ), Smith (R-NH), and DeWine (R-OH) in letter to Bush say they “have been skeptical” of the AF and “feared it would allow Pyongyang to work clandestinely on its nuclear program at the same time it receives tangible benefits” and call for suspension of reactor project (Nicholas Kralev, “Talks Focus on Weapons, Technology,” Washington Times, October 3, 2002, p. 15)

At Japan-DPRK talks on abductees, DPRK tells Dep D-G for Asia Saiki Akitaka none of the 8 deceased abductees was killed and in 1998 it executed an agent responsible for the abductions and sent another to prison for 15 years. Five survivors can return to Japan with kin. Japan will seek custody of agents who were responsible, conduct investigations in DPRK. (Kakumi Kobayashi, “Japan to Seek More Info on 5 Living Abductees,” Kyodo News, October 2, 2002; Japan Times, “Japan to Demand Custody of Secret Agents, October 4, 2002; Yomiuri Shimbun, N. Korea Says Abductees Can Return Home, October 4, 2002)

Kelly arrives in Seoul, en route to Pyongyang, and tells Senior Secretary Yim Sung-joon and Lim Dong-won, “We will make it clear that the abolishment of their HEUP [HEU program] would be the precondition to dialogue.” Lim recalls, “He emphasized the purpose of his visit was to ‘notify’ them, and not to ‘negotiate’ with them.” (Lim, Peacemaker, p. 334)

First day of talks lasts a little less than an hour. Kelly tells Kim Gye-gwan “we now had a precondition which we had not had in the past , which was that North Korea had a covert uranium enrichment program … and they needed to dismantle it right away before we could fully engage in a whole range of things that might well be … mutually beneficial.” (Kelly, Transcript of November 19, 2002 press briefing, Foreign Press Center, US Department of State) US official with access to the transcript of talks: Kelly told North Koreans the US would block engagement with Japan and South Korea. ROK senior official: “I knew the US was sending the team to the North to put the brakes on better relations after I realized the seriousness of Mr. Kelly’s remarks” (JoongAng Ilbo, “The Second North Korean Nuclear Crisis: The Untold Story,” p. 3) Frank Jannuzi in February report for Woodrow Wilson International Center says he had obtained the DPRK talking points for the first day of talks saying it was prepared to be flexible on “key areas of concern” to the U.S.: nuclear inspections, the LWR project, the future of U.S. forces in Korea and its development and export of ballistic missiles. (Doug Struck and Glenn Kessler, “Clashing Agendas Threaten Start of North Korea Talks,” Washington Post, April 20, 2003, p. A-12) Pritchard: “The basic message that Kelly conveyed to Kim was that the president had been prepared to have serious discussions about transforming the U.S.-DPRK relationship … but because we know had irrefutable evidence that North Korea had embarked on a covert program to produce nuclear weapons through uranium enrichment, it was impossible to have the intended dialogue. Kelly offered no evidence to Kim.” (Pritchard, Failed Diplomacy, p. 35) Despite evidence North Korea anticipated the UE program would come up, the impression of those on the Kelly delegation on the first afternoon of talks was that the North Koreans were caught off balance by the U.S. accusation and that First Vice Minister Kim Gae-gwan was unprepared with an answer until he checked with someone higher up. “Rather, he may have been caught off balance by what he perceived — and in fact what Kelly’s presentation as written by the hard-liners meant to impart — was the imperious tone of the U.S. presentation, especially the nonnegotiable position that dialogue was impossible until the North’s enrichment program was halted. …For the United States to come in with an ultimatum that no talks were possible until the enrichment program was addressed was exactly what the North Korean delegates had told Sigal was the fundamental problem — that the Americans were not leaving room for discussion.” After a break, Vice Minister Kim parried Kelly’s accusation. His presentation “totally ignored after the fact in Washington, included initiatives on the timing of special IAEA inspections (a point John Bolton had been pressing for months), missile exports … conventional power plants versus light-water reactors … and the status of U.S. troops in South Korea (for more than a decade the North had been hinting, signaling, and explicitly explaining that it was mnot opposed to the presence of U.S. troops on the peninsula as long as they weren’t a ‘threat’).” (Oberdorfer and Carlin, The Two Koreas, pp. 368-69)

China News Service says of arrested Chinese-born Dutch head of Sinuiji economic zone, “Local tax authorities informed Yang Bin that he should pay off overdue taxes.”

Deputy Chief Cabinet Secy Abe Shinzo: “Of those [abductees] said to be dead, we believe that more detailed information is needed.” Koizumi says normalization talks still on course. (Karasaki Taro, “Team Returns with Remains, Photos from North Korea,” Asahi Shimbun, October 3, 2002)

Japan concludes DPRK salvaged vessel it sank December 22 was spy ship

On second day of talks Kang Sok-ju offers to give up UE program, asking the US in turn to “respect the DPRK’s sovereignty” (forswear any attempt to overthrow its government), “:assure it of nonaggression” and “not hinder its economic development.” (KCNA, “Conclusion of Non-Aggression Treaty between D.P.R.K. and U.S. Called for,” October 25, 2002). Kang, according to Kelly, says they “have more powerful things as well.” (David E. Sanger, “North Korea Says It Has a Program on Nuclear Arms,” New York Times, October 17, 2002, p. 1) On eve of KEDO meeting, after Kelly visit to push Tokyo to stop HFO, leak that Kang told him, “Apart from nuclear weapons, North Korea has biological and every form of other weapons.” (Yomiuri Shimbun, “N. Korea Say It Has Bio-arms,” November 14, 2002) Kelly said that after admitting to the program, North Korea’s first vice foreign minister, Kang Sok Ju, suggested that Pyongyang might be willing to give it up. Kelly confirmed, in general, reports that Kang wanted a guarantee that the United States would not attack the country, would sign a peace ttreaty with it and would accept the government. “They did suggest after this harsh and — persionally, to me — surprising admission, suggest that there were measures that might be taken generally along those lines,” kelly said in a response to a question. But he said he rejected the offer. (Doug Struck, “North Korean Program Not Negotiable, U.S. Told N. Korea,” Washington Post, October 20, 2002, p. A-18) “They indicated when all these good things were done, we might be able to talk about their covert enrichment program,” Mr. Kelly said. “The North got it upside down.” (David E. Sanger, “U.S. to Withdraw from Arms Accord with North Korea,” New York Times, October 20, 2002, p. 1) “The North Koreans were not prepared for the news that we’d discovered their program and at first denied its existence. But the next day, the first vice foreign minister, Kang Sok-ju, gave a presentation effectively acknowledging our claims. …Because his instructions were so constraining, Jim couldn’t fully explore what might have been an opening to put the program on the table.” (Rice, No Higher Honor, p. 162) Kelly’s November 19, 2002 press briefing: “Vice Minister Kang Sok-ju definitely admitted that North Korea was pursuing a uranium enrichment program, and he did say … North Korea is entitled to a nuclear weapons program.” Choe Jin-su, DPRK amb to PRC: “We told the special envoy of the U.S. president that we were entiled to possess not only nuclear weapons but any type of weapon more powerful than that in order to protect our sovereignty and right to subsistence from an ever-growing U.S. nuclear threat.” (Disarmament Diplomacy, “North Korea Crisis Escalates Amid Consternation and Confusion,” (December 2002/January 2003), p. 51) Li Gun: “Kim Gye-gwan, at his first encounter with Kelly, flatly denied his assertion, citing the Kumchangri case which the U.S. also said [was] based on intelligence information in 1998 and later turned out to be a great intelligence failure. The U.S. side, this far, has not mentioned anything about the denial given by Vice Minister Kim. James Kelly had his second encounter with the first Vice FM Kang Sok Ju and laid out the same case. Faced with the same assertion, Kang Sok-ju bluntly responded by saying that ‘we are entitled to possess even more powerful things than the enriched uranium.’ Kelly sought a clarification for that line but Minister Kang said that ‘I really don’t feel obliged to clarify it to the U.S., who is our adversary. I leave it to you.’” (Li Gun, “Conceptual Points on the Nuclear Issue,” NCAFP, August 9, 2004, pp. 3-4) “Surprisingly, the North Koreans acknowledged their uranium enrichment program to us and suggested that if we provided them with additional benefits, they would, at some point in the future, resolve our concerns about their nuclear programs — how they would do so, they did not say. In other words, even though the North Koreans had violated the Agreed Framework, which had proven to be only a partial and thus unsatisfactory solution, they were proposing to us that we basically repeat the same formula. We weren’t prepared to accept that. As Secretary Powell has said, we were not going to ‘buy the same horse’ twice.” (Kelly, “Remarks to the Research Conference — North Korea: Towards a New International Engagement Framework, Washington, February 13, 2004) “He did not flatly say, ‘We have a uranium enrichment program,’” said David Straub. “But he spent thirty minutes responding to the previous presentations … talking about it in a way that he left every single member of the delegation independently saying, ‘He’s acknowledged the program.’” “My very, very strong impression is that he had gotten instructions from his leadership to leave every one of us with the impression that they were acknowledging the program but they were willing to negotiate about it,” said Straub. “And in fact, he specifically proposed negotiations, and he even hinted at the desirability of a summit meeting between our two countries.” Michael Green said, “And the fact that he [Kelly] let them know he was not going to negotiate under duress or under pressure likje that after they cheated was a very important message, too. … It was very obvious the North Koreans didn’t expect that, and they looked shocked when [Kelly] said, ‘I’m leaving.’ He closed his notebook dramatically and left.” The delegation went to the British embassy. The Korean speakers were told to ignore Chae Sun-hui’s translation and put together a “quasi-transcript” from their notes. Straub then drafted a memcon that was cabled to Washington under the heading, “North Koreans defiantly admit HEU program.” Straub later wished he had used the word “acknowledge” instead of “admit” because “it was not an explicit ‘yes we have it.’”. (Mike Chinoy, Meltdown, pp. 122-25) “What was probably the most fateful meeting the two countries ever had lasted less than a half hour. There was no discussion of Kang’s position that as part of any resolution of Washington’s concerns, the United States should recognize the North’s political system, conclude a peace agreement with a nonaggression commitment, and refrain from interfering with the North’s economic development. Kelly asked no questions, probed nothing. The American diplomat knew exactly what his instructions were — deliver the message on enrichment. Period. He had done that. The only thing left for him was to close his notebook and leave. …After the meeting, the delegation went to the British Embassy to send a quick initial message on Kang’s remarks back to Washington, using the UK’s secure communications equipment. Under considerable tiome pressure and less than optimal physical conditions in the cramped space, the Korean speakers in the group did what they could to reconstruct a transcript based on what Kang had said in Korean, as opposed to what his interpreter had rendered in English. …On occasion, the translation is vague. If the point seems important, the best thing is to stop and seek clarification. In this case, the American Korean speakers had to compare notes among themselves as there was no opportunity to go back and ask the North what it meant. There was no second meeting with Kang to clarify what had been unclear. The delegates’ first message was titled ‘North Koreans Defiantly Admit HEU Program,” and once it went out there was never any chance that its first impressions — impressions that should have been questioned and carefully analyzed on arrival in Washington — would get judicious treatment. … Almost every senior official who saw the message jumped to the conclusion that the North Koreans had ‘admitted’ to uranium enrichment, even though a close reading of both the summary and the reconstructed transcript revealed no such thing. In a Principals Committee meeting that followed Kelly’s retrun to Washington, it was already set in concrete that the North Koreans had admitted to the program and that his ‘admission’ had somehow altered the policy landscape.” (Oberdorfer and Carlin, The Two Koreas, pp. 371-72)

Bush officials later said the North Koreans had confessed. But diplomats now say that was a translation error. (Kelly could not be reached for comment.) While Kim was clearly violating the spirit of his ’94 agreement by secretly importing centrifuge equipment, U.S. intelligence sources tell Newsweek that their monitors in the region have never detected telltale emissions from any centrifuges. Earlier in 2002, the then Pacific commander Adm. Dennis Blair told a Pentagon meeting chaired by Under Secretary of Defense Stephen Cambone that Blair’s surveillance and monitoring teams had still detected nothing. According to a participant who would speak only if he was not identified, that led Cambone to stalk over to Blair after the meeting, jab his finger into his chest and declare that he expected more out of him. (Michael Hirsh, Melinda Lu, and George Wehrfritz, ‘We Are a Nuclear Power,’ Newsweek, October 23, 2006)

SecDef Rumsfeld memo to NSA Rice: “I thought you told the President in my meeting that there weren’t going to be any meals at the North Korean event. I notice they had one or two dinners. Thanks.” (Rumsfeld Papers)

Kelly briefs Lim Dong-won and FM Choi Sung-hong on talks with DPRK, holds brief press conference. He tells them Kang said, “When the United States designates North Korea as the axis of evil and threatens to launch a preemptive attack with their enormous quantity of nuclear weapons, North Korea has no option but to develop nuclear weapons or something more powerful for the protection of national security.” Kang also wanred, “If the United States wants war, North Korea is ready to fight.” Lim notes, “A the same time, Kang said that his country was willing to resolve the issue through negotiation and that it would be possible to address U.S. security concerns if the United States would cease its hostile policy. As conditions to negotiations, Kang listed U.S. respect for the sovereignty of North Korea, conclusion of a non-aggression treaty, and the lifting of economic sanctions. In conclusion, Kang hoped for a package solution by the highest levels of the two countries.” (Lim, Peacemaker, pp. 336-37)

“The first question for me,” says John Bolton, “was how to get rid of the Agreed Framework and the entire superstructure of power based on it. That was the immediate objective because I thought it was a snare and an illusion, giving us the impression of security when in fact the North Koreans were undoubtedly screwing us, which we now know they were.” Powell was still skeptical and asked one of the top nuclear experts at INR to go back and look at “every piece of intel involving HEU.” DepSecState Richard Armitage recalled, “Diplomacy in the Bush administration is, ‘Alright you fuckers, do what we say.’” (Mike Chinoy, Meltdown, pp. 128, 136)

Foreign Ministry of the DPRK spokesman “as regards the visit to the DPRK by a special envoy of the U.S. President: As already reported, James Kelly, U.S. assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, visited the DPRK from October 3 to 5 in the capacity of special envoy of the U.S. President. Expecting that there would be a way of solving the pending issues between the DPRK and the U.S. through dialogue as the Bush administration told us that it would dispatch the special envoy in a bid to explain its Korea policy and stand toward the resumption of dialogue, we received him and heard his words. However, the special envoy, raising “issues of concern,” took a high handed and arrogant attitude by claiming, that the DPRK-Japan relations and inter-Korean relations as well as the DPRK-U.S. relations would be smoothly settled only when the DPRK first meets the U.S. unilateral demand such as nuclear and missile and conventional armed forces and “human rights” issue. The U.S.-raised “issues of concern” are nothing but a product of its hostile policy towards the DPRK. After all, the special envoy’s explanation made it clear that the Bush administration is pursuing not a policy of dialogue but a hardline policy of hostility to bring the DPRK to its knees by force and highhanded practice. Since it has been confirmed that the Bush administration refuses to delist the DPRK as a member of the “axis of evil” and a target of “its preemptive nuclear attack” and still maintains its unilateral hard-line policy of hostility towards the DPRK, the latter clarified to the envoy its principled stand towards such position before his departure from here. Such unchanged policy of the U.S. compels the DPRK to take all necessary countermeasures, pursuant to the army-based policy whose validity has been proven.” (KCNA, “Spokesman for DPRK FM on DPRK Visit of Special Envoy of U.S. President,” October 7, 2002)

Three members of the U.S. intelligence community briefs Senior Secretary Yim Sung-joon, Lim Dong-won, and others in Seoul on the North’s HEU program: “It was judged certain that North Korea was constructing an underground highly enriched uranium (HEU) facility. The location was not identified. North Korea had already obtained materials, including aluminum pipes, to make Pakistani-type centrifuges. If the program proceeded smoothly, North Korea would be able to produce enough highly enriched uranium to make two to three bombs a years by the second half of 2004.” Lim reminded them of the misjudgment about Kumchangni and questioned the credibility of the U.S. assessment. He said, “The ROK and U.S. intelligence agencies should cooperate with each other more closely to collect reliable information and make a more accurate judgment.” According the ROK intelligence agency, “Since the aluminum pipes that the North had imported could be used for multiple purposes — including the production of missiles — it was necessary to find out more about their use. And there was no evidence yet showing that North Korea had secured essential equipment and materials required for the construction of an HEU plant.” (Lim, Peacemaker, pp. 337-38) They did not offer detailed notes of Kang’s remarks, an omission that irked the South Koreans. (oberdorfer and Carlin, The Two Koreas, p. 373)

44% of Japanese back resuming normalization talks; 43% opposed (AsahiShimbun)

House authorizes use of force in Iraq 296-133, Senate by 77-23. The next day; Bush signs it October 17.

South Korea’s NSC Standing Committee decided to “exert its best efforts to maintain the commitment of the Agreed Framework”: It had the following points: “We would strengthen the exchange of information with friendly nations regarding North Korea’s HEUP; abolishment of the Agreed Framework would be dangerous, and we would use diplomacy to prevent its abrogation through various approaches; as agreed in the ROK-U.S. summit (February 2002), the issue of North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction should be resolved peacefully and military action should be excluded; we would try to arrange a visit by North Korean first vice foreign minister Kang Sok-ju to Washington in return for Special Envoy Kelly’s visit to Pyongyang; we would develop a joint measure at the upcoming trilateral Korea-U.S.-Japan summit meeting in Los Cabos.” (Lim, Peacemaker, p. 341)

DPRK Dep PermRep Han Song-ryol in telephone interview says US is “refusing dialogue with us.” Pyongyang interprets “axis of evil” and talk of preemptive attack “as a certain kind of war proclamation” and adds, “we are prepared not only for dialogue but also for war.” (Jonathan Wright, “N. Korea See U.S. Policy as ‘War Declaration,” Reuters)

Kelly classified briefing to SFRC. According to Frank Jannuzi, the questions were sharp, “When were you planning to tell us this? You’ve known since June-July of 2002, during the months of the Iraq lead-up debate in Congress. You knew they were cheating then. You tell the North Koreans before you tell us about this information. When did you think the Congress, which pays the bills for the Agreed Framework, maybe should have been briefed about the North Koreans being in violation?” (Mike Chinoy, Meltdown, p. 131)

5 surviving abductees return to Japan for visit

Barbara Slavin of USA Today alerts DoS spokesman Richard Boucher she’s working on a story that Kelly’s meeting was a “disaster.” He says she’s “on to something” but the editors hold the story. (Mike Chinoy, Meltdown, p. 130)

DOS press statement entitled “North Korean Nuclear Program”: “Earlier this month, senior U.S. officials traveled to North Korea to begin talks on a wide range of issues. During those talks, Assistant Secretary James A. Kelly and his delegation advised the North Koreans that we had recently acquired information that indicates that North Korea has a program to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons in violation of the Agreed Framework and other agreements. North Korean officials acknowledged that they have such a program. The North Koreans attempted to blame the United States and said that they considered the Agreed Framework nullified. Assistant Secretary Kelly pointed out that North Korea had been embarked on this program for several years.

Over the summer, President Bush — in consultation with our allies and friends — had developed a bold approach to improve relations with North Korea. The United States was prepared to offer economic and political steps to improve the lives of the North Korean people, provided the North were dramatically to alter its behavior across a range of issues, including its weapons of mass destruction programs, development and export of ballistic missiles, threats to its neighbors, support for terrorism, and the deplorable treatment of the North Korean people. In light of our concerns about the North’s nuclear weapons program, however, we are unable to pursue this approach. (State Department Press Statement Richard Boucher, Spokesman, October 16, 2002)

Simultaneous background briefings by Stephen Hadley in Washington and Lee Tae-shik in Seoul that DPRK had admitted it has HEU program. US official: “We’re not certain that it’s been weaponized yet.” (David E. Sanger, “North Korea Says It Has a Program on Nuclear Arms,” New York Times, October 17, 2002, p. 1) Hadley on background said, “We call on North Korea … to end its nuclear weapons program in a way that is verifiable. We want to end this peacefully. We don’t want a crisis.” (Mike Chinoy, Meltdown, p. 130) “On the 17th [Seoul time], Washington called urgently to say it could not keep the information secret any longer,” a senior KDJ administration official says. “USA Today was going to publish what Mr. Kelly had learned in Pyongyang the next day, Washington told Seoul. Therefore, the two countries went public …” (JoongAng Ilbo, “The Second North Korean Nuclear Crisis: The Untold Story,” p. 10)

KEDO meeting in Pyongyang.

Emergency meeting of ROK NSC reaffirms, in words of Dep FM Lee Tae-shik, “All problems related to North Korea’s nuclear development should be solved peacefully through dialogue.” (AFP, “South Korea Seeks Talks with North on Nuclear Crisis)

WH press secy: “The president believes this is troubling, sobering news. We are seeking a peaceful resolution. This is best addressed through diplomatic channels at this point.”

Senior official says admin decided more than a week ago to puruse a diplomatic approach to the revelations. “We were waiting for it to leak,” said an official. But no one was paying attention because of Iraq.” Another official took a harder line: The North Koreans “lied to us. They treated us with contempt. What kind of deal are you going to cut with a country like that?” (Peter Slevin and Glenn Kessler, “Bush Plans Diplomacy on N. Korea’s Arms Effort,” Washington Post, October 18, 2002, p. A-1)

Boucher in daily briefing: “The fact that North Korea has acknowledged a program to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons constitutes a serious violation of the Agreed Framework.” … “Assistant Secretary Kelly and his delegation made clear when they were in North Korea that the President was prepared to pursue a bold approach that would involve our being willing to take economic and political steps as North Korea stopped many of the activities that we were concerned about. But he also made clear then, as he put forward this information that indicated that they were enriching uranium, that that was an activity that made it impossible to pursue this bold approach.” One US official: “There was a lot of thought about how to deal with the new information. No one wanted to distract from Iraq.” (Carla Anne Robbins, David S. Cloud, and Greg Jaffe, “North Korea Complicates Bush ‘Axis of Evil’ Strategy,” Wall Street Journal, October 18, 2002, p. 1) Bold approach: “The notion was that they were headed to a dead end, that the only way out was to forgo weapons of mass destruction, change their economy and improve human rights, “ a U.S. official said. “The point was to begin the process of transforming their country and the U.S. would respond at each step of the way.” (Michael Gordon, “U.S. Readies Plan to Raise Pressure on North Koreans,” New York Times, December 28, 2002, p. 1)

NSA Rice on Nightline: “Effective international pressure may have an effect on North Korea.” (George Gedda, “Rice Says International Pressure May Deter North Korea’s Nuclear Aspirations,” Associated Press, October 17, 2002)

Kelly, Bolton in Beijing; Kelly then goes to Seoul (19-20), Tokyo (21-22), Bolton to Moscow, London, Paris, Brussels

Koizumi to go ahead with normalization talks, says: “I have decided to resume negotiations, because I judged that taking the first major step of moving from an adversarial relationship to a cooperative one would be in the best interests of Japan.”

(Asahi Shimbun, “Undeterred, Koizumi to Push North Korea Ties,” October 19, 2002)

Japan FM Kawaguchi: “We also hope the United States will deal with this issue peacefully.” (Japan Times, Kawaguchi Urges Peaceful Approach,” October 19, 2002) “We cannot afford to have North Korea leave the negotiating table,” said a high-ranking Foreign Ministry official. “If the United States takes a more hard-line stance, we have to mollify North Korea. The negotiations have definitely become much harder.” (Asahi Shimbun, “Suddenly, Japan Has a Lot on Its Plate,” October 19, 2002

High-ranking ROK Ministry of Unification official says of the DPRK: “Their true aim is not to continue the nuclear development program, but to seek a breakthrough in relations with the United States.” ROK proceeds with N-S ministerial (Hakoda Tetsuya, “Analysis: North Korea Plays Wild Card,” Asahi Shimbun, October 18, 2002)

Kelly spoke about contacts with the North Koreans at a news conference in Tokyo today. Kelly said that after admitting to the program, North Korea’s first vice foreign minister, Kang Sok Ju, suggested that Pyongyang might be willing to give it up. Kelly confirmed, in general, reports that Kang wanted a guarantee that the United States would not attack the country, would sign a peace ttreaty with it and would accept the government. “They did suggest after this harsh and — persionally, to me — surprising admission, suggest that there were measures that might be taken generally along those lines,” kelly said in a response to a question. But he said he rejected the offer. (Doug Struck, “North Korean Program Not Negotiable, U.S. Told N. Korea,” Washington Post, October 20, 2002, p. A-18)

Tokyo moves up the date for resuming normalization talks. “I have decided to resume negotiations,” Prime Minister Koizumi declares, “because I judged that taking the first major step of moving from an adversarial relationship to a cooperative one would be in the best interests of Japan.” (Asahi Shimbun, “Undeterred, Koizumi to Push North Korea Ties,” October 19, 2002)

Joel Wit: “suspend” implementation of AF for the time being “coupled with sustained serious diplomatic dialogue with North Korea” (“New Rules of Engagement with North Korea,” New York Times, October 19, 2002, p. A-17)

Unification Minister Jeong Se-hyun in Pyongyang for talks says in radio interview: “We still don’t know exactly in what stage the North Korean program is — a plan or facility construction or weapons development.” (Seo Hyun-jin, “South to Broach Nuclear Issue in P’yang Talks Today,” Korea Herald, October 19, 2002) Kim Dae-jung instructed him to convey that “the development or possession of weapons of mass destruction would not be tolerated” and they should “take proactive measures to engage the United States by sending First Vice Foreign Minister Kang Sok-ju to Washington.” (Lim, Peacemaker, p. 341) Eighth N-S Ministerial agree to ministerial talks on reconnecting rail links on both coasts, working-level talks on Kaesong and on maritime cooperation, on a fishery agreement, and on ninth Ministerial in mid-January. They “agree to make joint efforts to ensure peace and security on the Korean peninsula, and cooperate positively to solve all issues, including nuclear-related problems through dialogue…” Kim Yong-nam tells UnifMin Jeong Se-hyun: “The nuclear issue is a matter between the US and the DPRK.” Jeong replies, “I didn’t come here to hear from you the same stories that appear in Rodong Sinmun.” Kim: “Let me say again, the nuclear issue has nothing to do with South Korea.” Jeong: “Because of the nuclear issue, the peninsula’s affairs have become unstable and South Korea’s economy is feeling the instability. …How can you say that South Korea is not a concerned party over the nuclear problem?” Moreover, “North Korea’s HEU program is in violation of the inter-Korean agreement on denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, which bars uranium enrichment.” (JoongAng Ilbo, “The Second North Korean Nuclear Crisis: The Untold Story,” p 13-14) “If the United States is willing to stop its hostile policy toward us, we are prepared to deal with various security concerns through dialogue,” DPRK’s head of state Kim Young-nam told Jeong Se-hyun. Jay Shim, “NK Ready to Resolve Nuclear Crisis Through Dialogue: Kim YN,” Korea Times, October 21, 2002) “So far we [North Korea] have been going our own way regardless of whether there is a wind from the west,” said Kim Ryong-song, DPRK negotiator. “We believe your concerns will evaporate should we hold our hands tighter and move on.” (AFP, “Inter-Korean Talks Overshadowed by North’s Nuclear Program,” October 20, 2002)

Dep SecDef Wolfowitz: “The North Koreans are desperately in need of help from the outside. We have leverage on North Korea that we do not have on Iraq.” (Glenn Kessler and Peter Slevin, “Policies Diverge on 2 in ‘Axis of Evil,’” Washington Post, October 20, 2002, p. A-18)

“The Bush administration has decided to scrap the 1994 arms control accord with North Korea that has provided Western energy aid in return for the North’s promise to freeze the development of nuclear weapons, senior administration officials said today,” reads lead. “We think the framework as we knew it is dead,” one administration official said when questioned about the administration’s strategy. “The North Koreans already told us they view it as ‘nullified.’” (David E. Sanger, “U.S. to Withdraw from Arms Accord with North Korea,” New York Times, October 20, 2002, p. 1)

SecState Powell: “The North Koreans are ones who have said it was nullified. … When we told North Korea a couple of weeks ago that we knew that they were participating in the enrichment of uranium, which was in violation of a number of agreements, to include this one, they first denied it, then admitted it and said therefore the agreement is nullified. When we have an agreement between two parties and one says it’s nullified, then it looks like it’s nullified.” Then he added, “Let’s just stick with that work [the AF] for the moment because what we have to do now is, in the presence of this information, we need to discuss this with a lot of other countries that have an interest in this.” Responding to charges the administration withheld news of North Korea’s HEU program to ensure passage of Iraq war resolution, says: “I’m sorry, it’s nonsense. We saw the intelligence in early July. We challenged the intelligence community to get us as much as they had so we made sure we had a solid case. We looked at the information through July and August. I began consultations at a very high level with some of our friends, and in early September we began to brief Members of Congress about what we knew about North Korean enriched uranium activity that was inconsistent with the Agreed Framework. We briefed both sides, Democrats and Republicans. We briefed both houses. … I don’t think it was relevant to the vote on Iraq. It never entered our calculation that the manner in which we were briefing Congress had anything to do with the vote on Iraq. I think, in fact, it might even have reinforced the vote on Iraq. I mean, I can’t understand the logic that says we held this back because it would have made it harder to get the votes we needed on Iraq. I think it might have told everybody that this is dangerous and we need to make sure we’re firm with Iraq as a signal to North Korea. But the suggestion that this is some kind of plot on the part of the administration is just false. And there were so many Members of Congress briefed that I cannot believe a Member can go around saying that the administration was not forthcoming. And last night when this issue came up, I challenged my staff to get me everything you had, and I’ve got two and a half pages of briefings.” (Powell, “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” ABC October 20, 2002)

NSA Rice on CBS “Face the Nation”: “Well, it’s a peculiar notion that the moment that you find out something like this, you need to make it public before the president has had a chance to review his options.” (Michael A. Fletcher, “Powell, Rice Say Withholding N.Korea Information Was Not Political,” Washington Post, October 21, 2002, p. A-18)

Ships left South Korea for the North over the weekend carrying equipment and materials for construction of inter-Korean rail and road links. (Korea Herald, “Rail Equipment, Aid Sent to NK,” October 21, 2002)

Pres Bush: It is a troubling discovery, and it is a discovery that we intend to work with our friends to deal with. I believe we can do it peacefully. I look forward to working with people to encourage them that we must convince Kim Jong-il to disarm for the sake of peace.” (Elizabeth Bumiller, “Bush See Korean Nuclear Effort as Different from Iraq’s,” New York Times, October 22, 2002, p. A-12)

U.S. intelligence has pinpointed three sites for EU tests: the Academy of Sciences near Pyongyang, Hwicheon in Jagang province and Yeongjeo-dong in Yangggang province, about 20 km. from the China border. (Shin Yong-bae, “U.S. Pinpoints 3 Suspected Sites in North Korean Nuclear Program” Korea Herald, October 21, 2002)

Asst SecState Kelly in Seoul press conference says nothing about DPRK offer of talks: US “hopes to put maximum pressure on North Korea” to dismantle its covert nuclear program. (Kim Ji-ho, “Seoul, Washington Press Pyongyang for Immediate End to Nuke Program,” Korea Herald, October 21, 2002)

After meeting with Under Sec State Bolton, Dep FM Georgi Mamedov referring to doctrine of preemption and “axis of evil”: “We think that such statements may aggravate the situation and don’t facilitate constructive solution of the nonproliferation issues.” (Elizabeth Bumiller, “Bush See Korean Nuclear Effort as Different from Iraq’s,” New York Times, October 22, 2002, p. A-12)

Amb. Suzuki Katsunari, normalization talks negotiator: “Once we determine after looking from all angles that [North Korea] is carrying out nuclear development, then we must at the very least suspend [the reactor project] and in certain cases must think about terminating it.” Asked about Suzuki’s remarks, Koizumi tells reporters, “It is important that we try to resolve our various concerns by engaging North Korea in the upcoming normalization talks.” Adding, “He should not say anything negative before the talks even begin.” (Japan Times, “Envoy, Koizumi Differ on North Korea Nuclear Project,” October 22, 2002)

“The internal logic of the agreement was that there had to be progress in terms of improved relations,” said Charles Kartman, KEDO executive director. North Korea “believes its system and sovereignty are threatened by the United States. In my negotiations with them, the term ‘strangulation’ — economic strangulation, political strangulation — came up over and over again.” (Doug Struck, “For North Korea, U.S. Is Violator of Accords,” Washington Post, October 21, 2002, p. A-18)

As sign of allied disagreement, previously scheduled shipment of heavy fuel oil to North Korea is allowed to proceed in order “to ensure that we are in lockstep with our Northeast Asian allies,” says an administration official. “People will be wondering, ‘Well, why aren’t we moving quickly to take such-and-such a step?” he added. “We have to make sure that we work with our allies and make sure that they’re comfortable with it and move at the same speed we do.” No decision yet on next shipment scheduled in about a month. (Mike Allen and Glenn Kessler, “U.S. Allows Delivery of Oil to North Korea,” (Washington Post, October 23, 2002, p. A-21)

James Baker op-ed for sanctions: “I believe we will be able to get the full support of the UN Security Council for the economic and political elements of this muscular approach.” (“No More Caving In On North Korea,” Washington Post, October 23, 2002, p. A-27)

Kim Dae-jung: “What I firmly believe is that it should be settled through dialogue, not economic sanctions or war.” Adds, “Scrapping the Geneva agreement through economic sanctions would only result in North Korea being freed from the restraints of the agreement concerning the nuclear issue.” (AFP, “South Korean Leader Says No to Sanctions against North Korea,” October 23, 2002)

“The Chinese have influence,” one senior official said. “We think it’s important that they use it.” (Glenn Kessler and Karen DeYoung, “N. Korea Puts Edge on Visit to Bush,” Washington Post, October 24, 2002, p. A-23)

MDP presidential candidate Roh Moo-hyun: “Washington should stop its hostile stance toward Pyongyang, while the communist nation should freeze its nuclear program. As the next step, Seoul, Washington, and Tokyo can provide financial assistance to the North in exchange for Pyongyang’s acceptance of international inspection of its nuclear sites.” GNP presidential candidate Lee Hoi-chang: “We must immediately suspend cash aid, which the North can divert to its nuclear program.” (Kim Hyung-jin, “Lee Roh Differ on How to Resolve Nuke Issue,” Korea Herald, October 25, 2002)

UnifMin Jeog Se-hyun: The United States “said North Korea announced the Geneva accord was nullified. But I think the statement came out with its head and tail cut off.” North proposed summit meeting to Kelly, “But the government does not have any information.” (Seo Hyun-jin, “North May Have Proposed U.S. Summit Meeting,” Korea Herald, October 25, 2002)

SecState Powell says AF not dead yet: “I have not yet used the four-letter word — [and] have no plans to do so, at least at this time. No decision has been made.” But he said no negotiations, “We bought that horse one time before, in 1994. We painstakingly negotiated an agreement in which North Korea pledged there would be no nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula. If you substitute the word negotiations for dialogue, I think I would be firmer on that,” said a senior State Dept official {Powell]: “I’m not ruling out direct contact or direct communications with the North Koreans,” noting the New York channel was open. “If they call us, we’ll listen, and I hope vice versa. But that’s not negotiating.” (Karen DeYoung, “U.S. Might Try to Salvage Part of N. Korean Accord,” Washington Post, October 25, 2002, p. A-26)

Park Ryong Yun, vice director DPRK FoMin department of Japan affairs in interview: “We are prepared to guarantee” [permanent return of the families of the five abductees]. If the children do not go to Japan, the families would be split up.” He adds, “I have heard that it may be difficult for the survivors to convince their children. It is an internal issue for the abductees.” (Kato Yoichi and Hasaba Kiyoshi, N. Korea: Families Can Live in Japan,” Asahi Shimbun, October 24, 2002) Japan refuses to return five abductees to North Korea — even if against their will. (Doug Struck, “Return of Abductees Is Blocked by Japan,” Washington Post, October 25, 2002, p. A-21)

Dep Chief Cab Secy Abe Shinzo asks Asst SecState Kelly to grant amnesty to turncoat GI Charles Robert Jenkins, married to Japanese abductee Soga Hitomi. (James Brooke, “Japan Seeks Amnesty for Ex-U.S. Soldier Living in North Korea,” New York Times, October 24, 2002, p. A-17)

Jiang-Bush Crawford summit. Bush at press conference: “Our first step, to make sure we resolve this peacefully, is to work with our friends, is to remind our friends of the dangers of a nuclear regime on the Korean Peninsula. President Jiang made it clear that China, like the United States, believes in a Korean Peninsula without nuclear weapons. This is a chance for the United States and China to work very closely together to achieve that vision of a nuclear free nuclear-weapons-free peninsula. And so I’ve instructed Secretary Powell to work very closely with his counterpart, as well as with their counterparts in South Korea and Japan and Russia to come up with a common strategy to convince Kim Chong-il to disarm, and we look forward to working to that end.” Jiang Zemin: “I point out that China has all along been supporter of a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula and wants peace and stability there. I agreed with President Bush that we will continue to consult on this issue and work together to ensure a peaceful resolution of the problem.” (White House, Office of the Press Secretary, “Remarks by the President and Chinese President Jiang Zemin,” October 25, 2002)

Powell’s statement yesterday, said a senior administration official, was “a serious breach” and “shows a State Department in revolt.” “There is a discipline problem here, whether it’s the person who did the briefing or somewhere else in the State Department. What that person said … may represent his view, the State Department’s view, but it does not represent the administration view.” (Mike Allen and Karen DeYoung, “Bush Seeks China’s Aid to Oppose North Korea; Jiang’s Statement Not as Forceful as U.S. Hoped,” Washington Post, October 26, 2002, p. A-18)

DPRK FoMin statement: “The DPRK has taken a series of new steps in economic management and adopted one measure after another to reenergize the economy, including the establishment of a special economic region, in conformity with the changed situation and specific conditions of the country. These developments practically contribute to peace in Asia and the rest of the world. Almost all the countries except for the United States, therefore, welcomed and hailed them, a great encouragement to the DPRK. It was against this backdrop that the DPRK recently received a special envoy of the U.S. President in the hope that this might help fundamentally solve the hostile relations with the U.S. and settle outstanding issues on an equal footing. …Producing no evidence, he asserted that the DPRK has been actively engaged in the enriched uranium program in pursuit of possessing nuclear weapons in violation of the DPRK-U.S. agreed framework. He even intimidated the DPRK side by saying that there would be no dialogue with the U.S. unless the DPRK halts it, and the DPRK-Japan, and north-south relations would be jeopardized. …Under article 1 of the framework the U.S. is obliged to provide light water reactors to the DPRK by the year 2003 in return for the DPRK’s freezing of graphite moderated reactors and their related facilities. But only site preparation for the LWR was made though 8 years have passed since the DPRK froze its nuclear facilities. This will bring the DPRK an annual loss of 1,000 mw(e) in 2003 when light water reactor no.1 is scheduled to be completed and that of 2,000 mw(e) from the next year. Under article 2 of the framework the two sides are obliged to move toward full normalization of the political and economic relations. Over the last 8 years, however, the U.S. has persistently pursued the hostile policy toward the DPRK and maintained economic sanctions on it. The former has gone the length of listing the latter as part of the ‘axis of evil.’ Under article 3 of the framework the U.S. is obliged to give formal assurances to the DPRK against the threat or use of nuclear weapons by the U.S. however, the U.S. listed the DPRK as a target of its preemptive nuclear attack. Under article 4 of the framework and paragraph g of its confidential minute the DPRK is to allow nuclear inspections only after the ‘delivery of essential non-nuclear components for the first LWR unit, including turbines and generators’ is completed. But the U.S. has already come out with a unilateral demand for nuclear inspection in a bid to convince the international community of the DPRK’s violation of the framework. … That was why the DPRK made itself very clear to the special envoy of the U.S. President that the DPRK was entitled to possess not only nuclear weapon but any type of weapon more powerful than that so as to defend its sovereignty and right to existence from the ever-growing nuclear threat by the U.S. … Nevertheless, the DPRK, with greatest magnanimity, clarified that it was ready to seek a negotiated settlement of this issue on the following three conditions: Firstly, if the U.S. recognizes the DPRK’s sovereignty, secondly, if it assures the DPRK of nonaggression and thirdly, if the U.S. does not hinder the economic development of the DPRK. … If the U.S. legally assures the DPRK of nonaggression, including the nonuse of nuclear weapons against it by concluding such treaty, the DPRK will be ready to clear the former of its security concerns. The settlement of all problems with the DPRK, a small country, should be based on removing any threat to its sovereignty and right to existence. There may be negotiations or the use of deterrent force to be consistent with this basis, but the DPRK wants the former, as far as possible.” (KCNA, “Conclusion of Non-Aggression Treaty Called for,” October 25, 2002)

DPRK Perm Rep Pak Gil reads FoMin statement to press at UN. (Dafna Linzer, “North Korea Seeks Compromise with U.S. over Nuclear Program,” AP, October 25, 2002)

APEC summit in Mexico. Bush-KDJ-Koizumi trilateral: “The three leaders agreed that South-North dialogue and the opening of Japan-DPRK normalization talks can serve as important channels to call upon the North to respond quickly and convincingly to the international communities’ demands for a denuclearized Korean peninsula. President Kim briefed that during the recent South-North Ministerial Meeting held in Pyongyang, the South strongly urged North Korea to take immediate action for a prompt and peaceful resolution of the nuclear issue. Prime Minister Koizumi reiterated that Japan-DPRK normalization should promote not only bilateral relations with North Korea, but also contribute to peace and stability of the region. In this regard, Prime Minister Koizumi stressed that Japan-North Korea normalization talks would not be concluded without full compliance with the Pyongyang Declaration between Japan and North Korea, in particular with regard to the security issues, including the nuclear issue, and abduction issues. President Bush reiterated his February statement in South Korea that the United States has no intention of invading North Korea as well as the fact that he had been prepared to pursue a bold approach to transforming U.S.-DPRK relations.” (White House, Office of the Press Secretary, “Joint US-ROK-Japan Statement” October 26, 2002)

Asked about the DPRK bid for talks, a White House official said, “The time of rewarding bad behavior is over.” (Reuters, “US Dismisses North Korea Demand for Talks,” October 25, 2002) One official described the emerging American strategy this way: “We play the bad cop, the Chinese play the good cop, and the Japanese potentially play the sugar daddy whose investment in North Korea is at stake.” (David E. Sanger, “Bush and Jiang Vow to Cooperate on North Korea Issue, New York Times, October 26, 2002, p. A-8)

Powell press conference: “I’m sure it will be political pressure, diplomatic pressure. There has not been any level of discussion with respect to economic pressure or other sanctions that might be applied. I think it’s too early for that.” Asked about negotiations, “They violated agreements they entered into. And so that violation has to be dealt with. You can’t violate an agreement and then show up and say, we violated this agreement, what will you pay us … in order to get out of the violation. … If you look at the [joint] statement, it says that North Korea is expected to dismantle this program. It doesn’t say that we will do something beforehand.” (White House, Office of the Press Secretary, Press Briefing by SecState Powell, Los Cabos, Mexico, October 26, 2002)

DPRK economic delegation led by Park Nam Ki, chairman of Planning Commission and Jang Seong Taek, chair of KWP Central Committee and KJI’s brother-in-law begins nine-day visit to Seoul. (Chosun Ilbo, “NK Delegation Due Saturday,” October 24, 2002)

NK may have 3-5 working nukes, Chinese tell US, say diplomatic sources. “There’s no military option at this time,” said a western diplomat. “The Americans have admitted to their allies they don’t really know where the damned weapons are.” (Michael Sheridan, “Koreans May Have Five Nuclear Missiles,” Sunday Times (London), October 27, 2002)

NSC briefer told Hill last week, US has been seeing for “a year” but “clearer picture this summer” because of size of shipments of aluminum or specialty steel. US does not know about the facility or how far along the program is. Policy plans dir Haass told Congress, allies that HEU program in its “early stages” and would take “a long time to produce relatively few devices.” But if it decides to stop observing AF, “it could produce a significant number of plutonium weapons relatively quickly.” US intell offs: NK could reprocess spent fuel and “in six months recover enough plutonium for approximately six devices.” [LS notes]

North Korean delegation begins nine-day tour of South Korean industry.

Kim Myong Chul: “North Korea can export missile and nuclear technology to the highest bidder. It’s a capitalist practice.” Donald Gregg: imposing sanctions “would be crazy.” (Nicholas D. Kristof, “The Greatest Threat,” New York Times, October 29, 2002, p. A-31)

DPRK to open embassy in Ottawa in August, Canadian officials say. (Reuters, “North Korea Planning to Open Embassy in Canada,” October 29, 2002)

According to two administration sources, he [Bush] has labeled Kim Jong Il a “political pygmy” and a “nasty dictator,” and questioned why South Korea’s appeasement-minded government shows so little concern for the awful way the gulag state mistreats its people.

In theory, what the president says should hold sway. But that has not stopped care foreign-service officers and holdovers from the Clinton administration, such as Charles Pritchard, the U.S. special envoy on North Korea, from fighting a vigorous rear-guard action to continue their failed policy of bribery and accommodation. That stance often involves turning a blind eye to reality, even the recent revelation of Pyongyang’s uranium-enrichment program and intelligence reports of a Pakistani exchange of possibly strategic materials for a North Korean missile, both transported by a U.S.-built cargo plane. Indeed, during an internal meeting to come up with a response to North Korea’s recent nuclear threats, one prominent member of the appeasement camp characterized it as a “desperate cry for help.”Had that visit gone ahead as planned in July, Mr. Kelly would have been able to push the U.S. back toward the path of appeasement by dangling an array of agreed concessions before Pyongyang in return for promises of better behavior. But, as two officials in different branches of the administration told me, North Korea’s dictator proved his own worst enemy. Only two days after being offered the Kelly visit, Kim allowed his navy to open fire on a Southern patrol boat in disputed waters off the west coast of the peninsula. Four South Korean sailors were killed. So too was any prospect of the Kelly visit going ahead as scheduled, despite frantic efforts to save it by officials in the East Asian and Pacific Affairs Bureau, the bribers’ headquarters within the State Department. Within weeks, evidence emerged to pull the Bush administration back from the quagmire of appeasement. U.S. intelligence discovered that a C-130 transport plane had been flown from Pakistan to North Korea, and returned carrying a Nodong missile, one of the proliferating regime’s favorite exports. It’s not clear exactly when the flight took place, although the C-130s were only supplied to Pakistan earlier this year as part of U.S. assistance in the war on terror. American intelligence has reportedly been unable to establish what the C-130 transported to North Korea. But they know the cargo came from the Khan Research Laboratory in Pakistan, which has a centrifuge plant for enriching uranium for Pakistan’s nuclear weapons. And that it was valuable enough for Kim’s cash-strapped regime to send not only a missile in return, but also transfer $75 million into a bank account linked to the laboratory. According to sources, the use of a U.S.-supplied plane for such proliferation purposes has been raised in several conversations between U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and Gen. Pervez Musharraf. But after initially denying any knowledge of the transfers — a stance echoed in Islamabad’s public statements on the issue — the Pakistani leader’s subsequent responses were reportedly inconsistent and evasive. (Danny Gittings, “Battling the Bribers,” Asian Wall Street Journal, October 29, 2002)

Sigal: “Basically, the North Koreans have signaled for quite a while that, in their view, the United States wasn’t living up to the 1994 agreed framework. And I think the uranium enrichment program has its origins in the 1997 warning to the United States, that if we don’t live up to it, they won’t. Whether they’re willing to trade in their program I think is quite clear. They’re willing to. They put it on the negotiating table when Asst. Sect. of State Kelley went to Pyongyang in early October.” (CNN “Insight,” October 29, 2002)

Japan holds 12th round of normalization talks with DPRK, won’t agree to date for next round until family members can be reunited with five abductees repatriated to Japan; North insists five abductees return to DPRK as agreed at Kim-Koizumi summit. Suzuki Katsunari raises questions about NK report of deaths of eight abductees, requests visit to Japan by abductees’ kin. Working level talks on the abduction issue held on evening of first day. (Kobayashi Kakumi, “Japan, N. Korea Apart, but Hold Abduction Talks,” Kyodo, October 29, 2002) DPRK’s Jong Thae Hwa: While the issue had been broadly settled he said North Korea would provide additional information if Japan raised further questions pertaining to the abductees. “It’s a basic principle to consider the abductees’ will [about where they want to live]. The five abductees should return to North Korea at once.” Suzuki: “We demand [Pyongyang] provide specific dates for the return of the abductees’ family members to Japan.” (Harada Tetsuya and Yoshikata Yuji, “Japan, N. Korea Remain Far Apart, Yomiuri Shimbun, October 30, 2002) Japan sought extradition of North Korean spy Sin Guang Su, a suspect in some abductions, and also Red Army operatives. (Asahi Shimbun, “Tokyo Wants to Play Ace in Talks,” November 2, 2002) Japan proposed separate talks on security issues, including nuclear and missile issues, in November, but the DPRK, while agreeing to talks, refused to agree to the agenda and Japan refused to set a date. (Asahi Shimbun, “North Koreans Balk at Security Talks Agenda,” November 2, 2002) “Japan proposed to the North Korean delegation that the talks should center on two issues — abductees and security, said Suzuki. “But the North Koreans insisted that we first talk on normalization of ties between the two countries and economic cooperation.” Jong began talks: “Historically speaking, it is clear that Japan should apologize to the Korean people and compensate for our mental and physical suffering and damage.” (AFP, “North Korea Demands Japan’s Economic Aid, Wartime Apology,” October 30, 2002) North Korea Red Cross on Japan’s refusing to return abductees: “This is a breach of the bilateral agreement.” (Doug Struck, “N. Korea Backs Away from Diplomacy,” Washington Post, October 31, 2002, p. A-15)

U.S. does not participate in KEDO, State Dept spokesman Philip Reeker says. Diplomatic source calls it “the first step of the U.S. to put pressure on the DPRK to dismantle its nuclear weapons program.” (Kyodo, “U.S. Officials Absent from KEDO-N. Korea Meeting,” November 1, 2002)

N-S Red Cross meeting close to agreement on site for permanent rendezvous site for divided family reunions at Mount Kumgang

In presidential campaign, Roh Moo-hyun proposes “standing NEA cooperation organization in the DMZ to promote peace and cooperation in the region.” (Kim Hyung-jin, “Roh Moo-hyun Proposes New Mechanism for Regional Peace to be Set up in DMZ,” Korea Herald, November 1, 2002)

Helms, Kyl, Smith (NH), Cox, Markey call for suspension of reactor, fuel oil shipments, regime change in letter to Bush

Senior Secretary Yim Sung-joon meets with SecState Powell, DepSec Armitage, SecDef Rumsfeld, NSA Rice and JCS Chmn Richard Meyers with a proposal from President Kim dae-jung: “If North Korea explains the truth of the uranium issue and expresses its willingness to resolve the issue, the United States would guarantee on paper non-aggression and resume fuel oil shipments. North Korea wouls refreeze its nuclear facilities, and then the United States and the DPRK could engage in negotiations to simultaneously resolve the issues of the nuclear programs and normalization of relations.” Powell and Rice responded positively, but Rumsfeld did not. (Lim, Peacemaker, pp. 348-49)

N-S agree to joint development at Kaesong, close to deal to build permanent rendezvous point for family reunions. (Yoo Cheong-mo, “N. Korea to Open Gaesong to Southern Tourists Next Year,” Korea Herald, November 4, 2002; Kim Ji-ho, “Inter-Korean Red Cross Talks Leave Family Reunions Uncertain, Korea Herald, November 4, 2002)

KDJ at NSC meeting directs ministers to “urge NK to take tangible action [to scrap its nuclear programs] through inter-Korean dialogue channels.”

In e-mail exchange with the Times reporter Philip Shenon, DPRK Amb Han says, “Our government will resolve all U.S. security concerns through the talks, if your government has a will to end its hostile policy.” He adds, “Everything will be negotiable.” Asked about shutting down its HEU program, he said, “Yes, I believe our government will resolve all US security concerns.” Asked if it would allow international inspections, he said, “Yes.” NJ restauranteur Robert Egan approached the Times. (Philip Shenon, “North Korea Says Nuclear Program Can Be Negotiated,” November 3, 2002, p. 1)

In phone interview with Yonhap, a high-ranking DPRK official says the AF is “hanging by a thin thread.” He elaborates on Times article saying it omitted key precondition: “a position based on principle was also expressed that if the US removes its threats to NK by adopting a nonaggression treaty, all US security concerns including the nuclear issue can be resolved.” He noted, “The US has already violated three articles of the basic agreement, such as seeking to normalize DPRK-US relations, ceasing to threaten its counterpart, and completing a nuclear power plant by 2003. If it suspends heavyoil assistance as well, one more major violation would have been committed.” Asked if the North had admitted the HEU program to Kelly, he said, “Such an admission has never been made. When the US raised the issue, “we responded by saying ‘we can possess even more powerful weapons than enriched uranium to counter US hostile policy.’”

Gregg, Oberdorfer hold 91/2 hours of meetings in Pyongyang; Kang Sok-ju hands them letter from Kim Jong-il to President Bush: “At a time when positive changes are taking place in the region of Northeast Asia, we hope a new chapter will open, overcoming the current crisis, in the bilateral relationship between the DPRK and the US” and noting “If the US recognizes our sovereignty and assures non-aggression, it is our view that we should be able to find a way to resolve the nuclear issue in compliance with the demand of a new century.” Noting Bush’s statement that the US “has no intention to invade, we deem it important that the US provide a legal guarantee of non-aggression.” (Donald Gregg and Don Oberdorfer, “Kim Jong-il Sent a Personal Letter to U.S. President George W. Bush in Nov. 2002 to Resolve the Nuclear Crisis,” Vantage Point, July 2005, 23-25) Oberdorfer op-ed: “Mr. Kim told me … that he had been ‘stunned’ by Kelly statement. He reported Kelly’s statements to his superiors at the first coffee break, setting off furious internal consultations. After an all-night meeting of its top officials … First Dep FM Kang Sok-ju … told Kelly and the U.S delegation that the reclusive nation is ‘entitled to have nuclear weapons’ to safeguard its security in the face of a growing U.S. threat. … According to Washington sources, President Bush personally intervened several weeks ago to prevent the administration from declaring the AF dead, although he is no fan of the accord. I asked Kang… to describe its status. He said it is hanging by ‘a thread.’ He confirmed that North Korea believes it is still in force, though precariously so. …While not forthrightly confirming Kelly’s charge, the officials never denied seeking to enrich uranium in secret facilities, but portrayed their actions as a response to the Bush administration’s hostility. When we noted that U.S. officials charge that the enrichment program began during the Clinton administration … our interlocutors said North Korea has adopted a ‘neither confirm nor deny’ policy about whether the program existed before Bush took office.” (Don Oberdorfer, “My Private Seat at Pyongyang’s Table,” Washington Post, November 10, 2002, p. B-3) Gregg at press conference in Seoul: Asked if AF nullified, “Kang’s response was NK wants a “simultaneous approach” to resolving nuclear issue. (Paul Eckert, “N. Korea Still Recognizes ’94 Pact with U.S., Envoy Says,” Reuters, November 7, 2002, p. A-22) “Of particular note is that the North has made no request for economic benefits. It only wanted political incentives like a non-aggression treaty and the normalization of bilateral ties.” (Shim Jae-yun, “N.K. Urges Simultaneous Steps with US on Nukes,” Korea Times, November 6, 2002) Gregg: “The North Koreans said they adopted an NCND — neither confirm nor deny — policy toward the highly enriched uranium issue, although some comments that we heard were very close to [an] admission that they had such a program under way …” (Disarmament Diplomacy, “North Korea Turns Its Back on NPT in Spiraling Diplomatic Confrontation,” February/March 2003, p. 40) Gregg: “On October 3, I received a written invitation to return to Pyongyang. The invitation also indicated that the North Koreans had accepted my suggestion, made in April, that the USS Pueblo be returned as a good will gesture to the American people. … Both men were deeply chagrined that the Kelly visit had been little more than a confrontation, but seemed upbeat about the improvements in their relations with South Korea and Russia. The general spoke effusively about “cutting down fifty year old trees” in the DMZ to facilitate a restoration of North-South rail connections, and said he was developing amicable relations with his South Korean counterparts. The vice minister told me that the return of the Pueblo was “off the table.” … In our meetings with the vice minister, we stressed the need for North Korea to stop its HEU program, which was of great concern to the U.S. and to all of North Korea’s neighbors. We were told that “all of the U.S.’s nuclear concerns will be cleared if the U.S. agrees to sign a nonaggression pact, shows respect for our sovereignty and promises not to hinder our economic development.” Toward the end of our visit we also met with First Vice Foreign Minister Kang Sok Ju, who is probably Kim Jong-il’s closest foreign policy advisor. Minister Kang said that Chairman Kim had referred positively to President Bush’s statement in South Korea that the U.S. has no intention of attacking North Korea, and urged that the United States respond boldly to North Korea’s requests as stipulated in our previous discussion with the vice minister. Don Oberdorfer and I reported directly to the White House [Hadley] upon our arrival in the U.S. a few days later, after a brief stopover in Seoul. We urged that a positive dialogue with North Korea be started. In response, we were told that initiating a dialogue would serve only to “reward bad behavior” on the part of the North Koreans.” (Donald Gregg, “A Perfect Storm Near the Korean Peninsula,” Korea Society Quarterly, 3, No. 2 (Summer 2002), p. 5)

White House spokesman Air Fleischer on board Air Force One rejects talks, says North must first dismantle: “It’s not a question of talking. It’s a question of action.” Adds, “North Korea knows what it needs to do. It needs to dismantle its nuclear program and honor its treaty obligations.” (Philip Shenon, “White House Rejects North Korean Offer for Talks,” New York Times, November 4, 2002, p. A-10)

GNP Reps. Cho Woong-kyu, Yoon Yeo-joon, Park Jin, on return from 10/28-31 meetings with Cheney, Kelly, say US will suspend fuel oil shipments, turn up pressure. “President Kim preempted the Bush administration when he excluded economic sanctions and the use of force prior to his departure for a summit with Bush,” a Seoul-based U.S. watcher said. “The Bush administration may well wait for Kim to leave office so it can deal with the next government to formulate a joint policy that would be more to its liking. Lee Hoi-chang is the favorite in many opinion polls.” Oh Young-jin, “GNP May Push Bush to Take Harder Line against NK,” Korea Times, November 4, 2002) Korea Gallup poll shows Lee leading with 34%, Chung Mong-jun at 22.6%, Roo Moo-hyun at 19%. (Chosun Ilbo, November 3, 2002)

DPRK FoMin spokesman: “Japan is insisting on discussing the nuclear issue with the DPRK although it is well aware that it is in no position to guarantee the DPRK its security. This only arouses the DPRK’s doubt as to whether it is not speaking for the U.S. … As far as the issue of kidnapped Japanese is concerned, the Japanese side broke the first promise made to the DPRK, thus damaging the confidence, spoiling-the hard-won atmosphere of cooperation and rendering the situation more complicated. The agreements and promises made between the countries should be observed on the basis of reciprocity under any circumstances. If any party ceases to implement its commitment, it is impossible for the other party to continue to fulfill its commitment. Upon learning about the outcome of the talks, the relevant organs and people of the DPRK are becoming increasingly assertive that it is necessary to reconsider various points related to security including the nuclear and missile issues under the untransparent conditions where Japan’s words and deeds regarding the implementation of the DPRK-Japan Pyongyang declaration do not go with each other. Especially, the DPRK should reconsider the moratorium on missile test-firing in case the talks on normalizing relations between the DPRK and Japan get prolonged without making any progress, as was the case with the recent talks.

KEDO is preparing to ship more HFO. “This is still under discussion by the U.S. government and by KEDO,” a senior administration official said. “We have serious misgivings about it.” A South Korean diplomat said his country is committed to continuing economic contacts with the North, including aid. A Japanese diplomat said his country had not yet taken a firm position on the issue. (James Dao, “North Korea Is Ready to Get Fuel Shipment Under 1994 Pact That It Violated,” New York Times, November 5, 2002)

Sigal: “In a test of wills, North Korea does not lack leverage; it has yet to renounce the Agreed Framework, throw out the IAEA inspectors, reopen the plutonium-filled casks, or restart its Yongbyon reactor. Instead of trying to compel rightly reluctant allies to ratchet up the pressure on Pyongyang, President Bush needs to ask himself: Is the world’s only superpower tough enough to sit down and negotiate in earnest with North Korea? U.S. hard-liners may want to use Pyongyang’s “confession” to punish the North, but the crime-and-punishment approach has never worked before, and there is no reason to believe that it will work now. Sooner or later, every administration since Ronald Reagan’s has given diplomatic give-and-take a try. Let’s hope this one does not have to undermine its alliances or go back to the brink of war before doing so.” (Leon V. Sigal, “North Korea Is No Iraq: Pyongyang’s Negotiating Strategy, Arms Control Today, December 2002, p. 12)

Roh Moo-hyun: “I have never visited the United States.” He adds, “If elected, I will deal with the Bush administration with national assertiveness. I will never kowtow to Washington. The ROK-US alliance should be transformed into horizontal relations” i.e., “equal partnership.” (Kim Hak-joon, “The U.S.-Korea Alliance: Past Present and Future,” International Journal of Korean Studies, 7, no. 1 (Spring/Summer 2003), 29)

PMs Kim Suk-soo, Koizumi, Zhu Rongji at ASEAN agree nuclear issue “should be peacefully resolved through dialogue.”

U.S. intelligence believes North Korea one of four nations other than the U.S. that probably possesses samples of the smallpox virus, according to two officials who received the briefings. “The assessment is, they have it,” says one official, speaking as he held his own office’s written summaries of evidence on North Korea and Iraq. “We don’t say 70 percent certainty. We assess that they have it.” The intelligence summary says, “Al Qaeda is interested in acquiring biological weapons, to include smallpox.” These assessments drove U.S. to brink of mass inoculation. Cheney was energized about smallpox by a videotape and briefing shortly after 9/11. “It’s a dramatic briefing,” Cheney’s chief of staff, I. Lewis Libby, recalled, but we were well on this road already.” Thompson has been influenced by doubts at the Centers for Disease Control. “If you look at the vice president’s office, they’re thinking strategic, not public health,” said one debate participant who cited the swine flu debacle of 1976. “If something bad happens, the public is not going to be blaming Dick Cheney. They’re going to be blaming Tommy Thompson. And the fact is, they’re going to be blaming the president. That’s why the political people are weighing in, and that’s why the decision is still sitting on his desk.” (Barton Gellman, “4 Nations Thought to Possess Smallpox,” Washington Post, November 5, 2002 p. A-1)

Asst SecState Kelly on “NewsHour”: We’re happy to undertake the negotiations, but first North Korea really has to dismantle, and do so rather promptly, this program they have, which is in clear violation of the previous agreements we’ve had in some three other international agreements.

GOP retakes Senate, 51-48-1, picks up eight seats in House to 229-205-1

A government official in Seoul said that North Korea is planning to reduce its armed forces by about 10 percent to free up labor for its economic reform measures. (Kim Min-seok and Lee Young-jong, “Seoul Official Says North to Cut Its Forces by 10%,” JoongAng Ilbo, November 6, 2002)

Lake Gallucci op-ed: “Since the agreement was violated by the North Koreans, critics argue that it was the product of a capitulation by the Clinton administration, that we offered Pyongyang only carrots while brandishing no sticks. James A. Baker III, writing in The Post on Oct. 23 [op-ed], claimed that Washington folded after North Korea threatened to turn the capital of South Korea into “a sea of fire.” This simply is not true. In fact, the “sea of fire” threat came in March 1994 as a reaction to our deadly serious plans for sanctioning the regime over its nuclear facilities and as we were stationing Patriot missiles in the South. As the crisis became more heated, we built up our military forces in the region and reviewed in great detail the Pentagon’s plans for a winnable but tremendously destructive war. Thereafter, a number of books and articles argued that the agreement was reached despite, rather than because of, the pressure of threatened sanctions and American military preparations. Their prescription of only carrots was as wrong as those who now argue for all sticks and no negotiations. It is time to step back, take a deep collective breath and design a strategy that is built around both. The choices in 1994 were the same four we have today: We could launch a military strike against the identified nuclear facilities; we could refuse negotiations and go to the United Nations for sanctions to isolate and contain the North’s nuclear program; we could essentially accept the new nuclear weapons status of North Korea and try to contain the damage to international nonproliferation efforts, as well as to our alliances with South Korea and Japan; or we could negotiate with the North to stop the nuclear weapons program that creates the crisis. The consequences for South Korea of the first option, a preemptive strike, make it, for almost all commentators, and apparently for the Bush administration, at best an option of last resort. The second, sanctions alone and no talks, the one favored by former secretary Baker, would be tantamount, in practice, to the third: acceptance of the North Korean program.” (Anthony Lake and Robert Gallucci, “Negotiating with Nuclear North Korea,” Washington Post, November 6, 2002, p. A-21)

Incoming SFRC Chmn Richard Lugar (R-IN): “Negotiations with North Korea have to continue, whether or not we have formal talks.” (Miles Pomper, “Lugar Presses President Bush on Iraq, North Korea,” Congressional Quarterly, November 7, 2002)

In an interview with the Associated Press, SecState Powell said, “However you choose to characterize the status of the Agreed Framework, it has been violated, and seriously violated.” He added that “until that violation has been corrected, it is difficult to see a way forward.” IAEA inspectors should be able to “go, look, see, touch and examine.” (Chosun Ilbo, “U.S. Seeks Diplomacy on Nuclear Issue,” November 8, 2002)

UnderSecDef Feith urges Japan to support tough measures against North, among them, joining U.S. in developing, deploying missile defense, tells press conference afterward there was a “fundamental disagreement” with ROK: “there should be a penalty, not a reward” for North Korea’s behavior. (Howard W. French, “North Korea Told It Must Dismantle Nuclear Arms Project Promptly,” New York Times, November 10, 2002, p. 10.) Feith told reporters, “What Assistant Secretary Kelly learned in North Korea was not that they may be pursuing nuclear weapons, but that they are. He got the North Koreans’ confirmation that North Korea is working to enrich uranium.” [?] (Chinoy, Meltdown, p. 137)

In economic talks in Pyongyang, ROK Vice MinFin Yoon jin-sik rejects DPRK request to expand joint economic projects, visit a potential site for an industrial park. (Paul Shin, “Nuclear Dispute Discourages S. Korea,” Associated Press, November 8, 2002)

DPRK Red Cross dep secgen Ri Ho-rim says “Japan broke the mutual agreement that the homecoming will be only one or two weeks.” (Asahi Shimbun, “N. Koreans: Japan Broke Its Promise,” November 12, 2002)

TCOG in Tokyo. “The South will call on the U.S. and Japan not to suspend the LWR project or cancel fuel oil provisions to the North even if it fails to take swift action regarding the nuclear issue,” says ROK official. (Seo Hyun-jin, “South to Call for Continued U.S. Oil Shipment to North,” Korea Herald, November 8, 2002) Lee Tae-shik, Tanaka Hitoshi tell U.S. they want to keep KEDO, supply HFO (Ochi Yukiko, “Japan, S. Korea Call for KEDO Framework to Be Kept,” Kyodo, November 9, 2002) Kelly wanted ship en route to North with 42,500 tons of HFO to turn around, but Japan and South Korea were reluctant. “We were not enthusiastic,” recalled a South Korea involved in the talks. “There was a general sense in Seoul that this would cause an aggravation of the situation.” (Chinoy, Meltdown, p. 137) Deputy FM Lee Tae-shik told the TCOG, “We ought to be prudent about terminating the oil shipment because it might trigger the resumption of North Korea’s nuclear activities. We should send the November shipment on schedule, while deploying diplomatic efforts to persuade the North. We can send KEDO Executive Chairman Chang Sun-sup and KEDO Secretary-General Charles Kartman to Pyongyang immediately to listen to North Korea’s explanation and to seek positive action by the North. If they respond negatively, we can issue a warning that the fuel oil provision could be suspended.” Japan supported the ROK position. After the Blue House faxed the White House, Washington responded, “In deference to the views of South Korea and Japan, the United States agrees on the November shipment of fuel oil. However, we disapprove a visit by KEDO Secretary General Kartman, who is an American, for fear that his visit might give the wrong signal, as if the United States wants to negotiate with North Korea.” (Lim, Peacemaker, p. 345)

Kelly in Tokyo tells Nukaga Fukushiro, acting gensec of LDP, US may stop HFO deliveries next year (Kyodo, “U.S. Oil Supply to N. Korea May End in 2003: U.S. Official,” November 10, 2002) Kelly asked whether Abe asked for amnesty for Charles Jenkins: “We did discuss the case of Mr. Jenkins. I don’t recall him making the particular request you describe and there are ongoing discussions.” (Kelly, Transcript of November 19, 2002 press briefing, Foreign Press Center, US Department of State)

Russia as source of aluminum tubes. Bolton: “Even the Russians shared our view of the North’s procurement activity, as my counterpart Georgi Mamedov would later describe to me in Moscow on November 10, although at that point the Russians did not believe North Korea had actually finished construction of an enrichment facility.” (Bolton, Surrender Is Not an Option, pp. 106-7)

Lim Dong-won: “The U.S. alleged that ‘the South has removed mnay landmines, but the North side’s landmine removal was done at a minimal level.” It was common sense that the defensive strategy of the South had led to installing more landmines and the offensive-oriented North had installed fewer landmines. Our side could not understand why the United States was raising this question at that time. Nevertheless, the North responded to the demand for mutual verification by sending a list of its inspectors to the South. The United States refused to recognize the North’s response, saying that the North should submit the list directly to the UNC. The North side opposed the U.S. intervention, arguing it was not obliged to submit the list to the UNC for inspection within the zone that was turned over to joint inter-Korean management. …The strange exchange of charges led to a three-week delay in removing landmines. Having determined that we should not allow a U.S. delaying tactic to interfere, we proposed that we skip the verification step and move to the construction work. … Nevertheless, the U.S., interference was persistent. At the end of November, Major General Soligon, Deputy Chief of Staff for the UNC, held a press conference to say, ‘The approval of the UNC should be obtained for both travelers and materials crossing the Military Demarcation Line ne ropute to Mount Kumgang for tourist purposes, and ROK forces should comply with the terms of the Military Armistice Agreement.’ This was another clear interference. The United States alleged that the North-South draft protocol, which defined clearance procedures for people and logistics supplies to pass through the peace corridor, was a direct challenge to the authority of the UNC and an intolerable scheme to drive a wedge between South Korea and the United States. Because of this interference, the South could not send railroad ties and other materials to the North for use in the connection of the railways. This delayed the railway connection work and disrupted our plan to begin Mount Kumgang tourism by the land route in the middle of December.” (Lim. Peacemaker, pp. 326-27)

Japan FM Kawaguchi Yoriko and ROK FM Choi Sung-hong agree to keep KEDO. “The two sides shared the view that the KEDO project is a realistic means to curb the North’s nuclear development, said Shin Jung-seung,dir-gen for Asia-Pacific affairs. (Kim Ji-ho, “Seoul, Tokyo Agree to Honor Nuke Pact,” Korea Herald, November 11, 2002)

GNP says it will suspend all economic aid to North until nuclear issue resolved. (Ryu Jin, “GNP Vows to Suspend Aid to NK Until Nuke Issue Is Resolved,” Korea Times, November 12, 2002)

Kelly meets with UnifMin Jeog, Dep FM Lee Tae-shik. “He explained the U.S. is not opposed to future North-South dialogue and cooperation, said Dep UnifMin Rhee Bong-jo. (Seo Soo-min, “U.S. Supports Inter-Korean Dialogue, Cooperation,” Korea Times, November 11, 2002)

Reply of reply to IAEA report by First Secy Ryong Jon Yong: “Under Article 1 of the Framework, the USA is obliged to provide light water reactors to the DPRK by the year 2003 in return for the DPRK’s freezing of graphite moderated reactors and their related facilities. Eight years have passed since we froze our nuclear facilities, but the USA has only recently started the ground concrete tamping for the LWR. …Under Article 2 of the Framework, the two sides are obliged to move toward full normalization of political and economic relations. Over the past eight years, however, the USA has persistently pursued the hostile policy toward the DPRK and maintained economic sanctions against it. The USA has gone so far as to list the DPRK as part of the ‘axis of evil.’ Under Article 3 of the Framework, the USA is obliged to give formal assurances to the DPRK against the threat or use of nuclear weapons. But on the contrary, the USA has put the DPRK on the list of targets for preemptive nuclear strike. Under Article 4 of the Framework and paragraph 7 of its confidential minute, the DPRK is to allow nuclear inspections only after the ‘delivery of essential non-nuclear components for the first LWR unit, including turbines and generators’ is completed. But the USA has already come out with a unilateral demand for nuclear inspection, and even carries out a campaign for imposing pressure upon the DPRK, misleading international opinion to think as if we are violating the Framework.”

North seeks return of five abductees but offers to allow MOFA officials accompany them. After Japan rejects, North Korea shifting attention from Japan to U.S., says “a humanitarian activist in Japan with close ties to Pyongyang’s Foreign Ministry and senior members of the Korean Workers Party.” September 17 summit led the North to think it could strike a quick deal for much needed aid. Weighed repatriating abductees’ families as early as November, but now has shelved plans. (Asahi Shimbun, “Pyongyang ‘Turns’ to U.S. amid Diplomatic Stalemate with Japan, November 13, 2002) “Of course we respect the free will of the individual,” said Suzuki Katusnari, MOFA official in charge of the negotiations. But “their state of mind is certainly not normal. We have to give time and the proper environment in which they can quietly think about their future.” “We would not agree to return them,” he added. “They might have developed some feelings that [North Korea] is their own land.” Teranaka Makoto, Amnesty International: “The freedom of choice is one of the human rights. But the press seems to be ignoring this issue.” (Doug Struck, “Japan and North Korea Spar Over Kidnap Victims’ Return,” Washington Post, November 16, 2002, p. A-14)

President chairs NSC meeting that decides to halt further funding for HFO shipments. (Chinoy, Meltdown, p. 137) NSC adopts “tailored containment.” [Cf. 12/26/02]

Bush admin has knowledge Pakistan continued to provide nuclear technology to North Korea through summer 2002. (Washington Post) (Shirley A. Kan, China and Proliferation of WMD and Missiles, Congressional Research Service Report, November 15, 2006, p. 20)

Japan concludes bones of abductee Matsuki Kaoru probably not his. Home Affs Min Katayama Toranosuke urges Foreign Ministry to take firm stance. (Japan Times, “Bones not Abductees: Japan,” November 13, 2002)

UnifMin: N-S trade volume $441 million between January and October, up 33.8%. (Kim In, “Inter-Korea Trade to Exceed US$500 Million, (Chosun Ilbo, November 13, 2002)

KCNA: “The DPRK decided to sign the ‘international convention for the suppression of the financing of terrorism’ and ‘international convention against the taking of hostages.’ This means that the DPRK has basically acceded to all the existing major international anti-terrorism conventions. … Unilaterally resorting to a violent retaliatory war, under the pretext of combating terrorism turning a blind eye to this root cause, would not help prevent the vicious cycle of violence accompanied by severe destruction and death of innocent civilians. The DPRK will, therefore, cooperate with the international community in the fight against terrorism, firmly adhering to the principled position on terrorism in the future, too. … The U.S. was also reported to have welcomed the measure taken by the DPRK. But it is undisguisedly inciting mistrust and antagonism towards the DPRK, still keeping it on the ‘list of sponsors of terrorism.’ If the U.S. has a true will to drop its unreasonable hostile policy towards the DPRK and improve the DPRK-U.S. relations, it should not repeat only empty words but respect and implement what had been agreed with the DPRK and take even a single practical measure at least.” (KCNA, “KCNA on Principled Stand of DPRK on Terrorism,” November 11, 2001)

DPRK decree sets up Kaesong industrial zone (KCNA, November 27, 2002)

UnifMin Jeong Se-hyun: “The heavy oil supply should continue until January … The United States wants a prompt halt to the oil shipment, while Japan insists suspension should not be considered until after the November shipment is sent.” (Seo Hyun-jin, “Seoul Calls on U.S. to Keep Oil Flowing to North Until January,” Korea Herald, November 14, 2002)

NSC meeting decides to halt further funds for HFO shipments, let tanker en route go. (James Dao, “Bush Administration Halts Payments to Send Oil to North Korea,” New York Times, November 14, 2002, p A-7)

“I do not want to be seen as an apologist for North Korea,” former Secretary of State Madeline Albright said recently at a breakfast with reporters. “What they have done is a terrible and clear violation of several agreements and they ought to stop.” That said, Albright continued, “things were behind schedule.” The North Koreans experienced an “undermining of expectations” after the 1994 agreement was signed. The 2003 target for delivery of the light-water nuclear reactors slipped to 2008, at the earliest. There were delays in delivery of fuel oil. Improved relations with the United States “did not take place,” Albright said. Some delays were due to weather, some to economic problems, some were the result of North Korean “provocations,” and some were due to the “vigor, or lack of vigor, of various administrations,” she said. Among the provocations were North Korea’s 1996 spy submarine raid on South Korea and its test-firing of a missile over Japan in 1998. When the Clinton administration left office, negotiations were on track toward new and verifiable agreements “to get rid of their missile technology,” Albright said. “Over time we would have moved on the whole range of weapons — gas, chemical, germs.” The North Koreans expected that the incoming Bush administration would “pick up the cards we left on the table,” Albright said. “They did not understand that a change in an administration would change the direction as much as it did.” During the transition, Albright recalled, she and a group of other Clinton officials went to Colin Powell’s house to brief the incoming secretary of state and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice on the North Korean situation. “My impression was they wanted to think about what they wanted to do,” Albright said, “and Powell in particular seemed to appreciate that these were important steps and that there was still work to be done. They chose not to move forward.” “They are trying to get us to change the relationship and they are playing tit for tat,” said Leon Sigal, director of the Northeast Asia Cooperative Security Project at the Social Science Research Council in New York and author of “Disarming Strangers: Nuclear Diplomacy With North Korea.” Sigal said the United States got “up front” what it wanted in 1994: a freeze in the North Korean nuclear weapons program. “But we didn’t live up to our obligations in return.” (Miles Benson, “U.S. Bears Share of Blame in North Korea Crisis, Experts Say,” Newhouse News Service, November 13, 2002)

KEDO Executive Board allows current shipment of 42,500 tons to proceed, but decides “Heavy fuel oil shipments will be suspended beginning with the December shipment. Future shipments will depend on North Korea’s concrete and credible actions to dismantle completely its enriched-uranium program. In this light, other KEDO activities with North Korea will be reviewed.” (Text of KEDO statement) “North Korea needs to rescind its nuclear development program in order to keep the light-water reactor program alive,” a MOFAT official said. (Shim Jae-yun, “Allies May Scrap North Korean Reactor Proposal,” Korea Times, November 15, 2002) “If KEDO collapses completely, is there any other realistic method to stop the nuclear program,” mused a Japan MOFA official. (Asahi Shimbun, “Tougher Role for Japan in the Cards,” November 16, 2002) “The basic political argument,” said a South Korea who was present, “was that we should take our time and not do this abruptly. We were concerned that the situation might escalate …” “I was of the view that cutting off fuel deliveries and scrapping the KEDO agreement would certainly invite North Korea to take countermeasures,” said a senior Japanese official. “I thought the decision to stop the fuel oil would trigger a chain reaction.” Jack Pritchard, the U.S. rep, was repeatedly called by John Rood, Robert Joseph’s deputy, to toughen the proposed resolution. “The decision to cut off the oil aid to North Korea was the wrong decision,” said Kim Dae-jung. I rejected that decision. However, the U.S. stance was very firm at the time, and it was the U.S. that had all the control at the time, so I could not object any further.” (Chinoy, Meltdown, pp. 140-41)

“If America stops the oil shipments, North Korea will consider the 1994 AF coimpletely dead and will restart the nuclear program. Definitely,” said Kim Myong-chol. (Doug Struck, “Crisis Could Push N. Korea to Expel Nuclear Inspectors,” Washington Post, November 14, 2002, p. A-22)

Some top officials accept report by single defector that Kim Jong-il has tenuous grip on power. (Glenn Kessler, The Coonfidante, p. 69)

“Steve Hadley commissioned papers from within the White House staff. Mike Green wrote a paper suggesting that we had to internationalize the conflict and pursue policies principally aimed at bringing allies on board in a common approach. Samantha Ravich, from the Office of the Vice President, proposed that we explicitly announce that regime change was our goal and lay out a series of steps to get there. That was an interesting idea, but it would have had no support internationally and would have scared our already nervous allies even more. Finally, Bob Joseph proposed ‘tailored containment,’ aimed at changing the regime’s behavior through pressure. At an NSC meeting on Niovember 13, the President, at my urging, supported the third approach. Before we went down to the Situation Room, however, he told me that he had come to the conclusion that nothing would work without getting China on board.” (Rice, No Higher Honor, p. 163)

Special envoy Pritchard and PermRep Li Hyong-chul over lunch at Jimmy Sung’s agree to seek to establish New York as regular channel for policy discussion, not just routine business. He meets with Li’s successor Pak Gil-yon at UN subsequently. (Pritchard, Failed Diplomacy, p. 13)

Deputy Chief Cab Secy Abe Shinzo: “I want North Korea to promise to hand over the [abductees’] children before we decide on the schedule for talks over possible diplomatic relations.” (Associated Press, “Japan Says No Talks with North Korea Until Abductees Reunited with Children,” November 17, 2002)

Tanker carrying last load of HO, 42,500 tons, docks at Nampo.

Lawrence Livermore report that North Korea had begun construction of plant to enrich uranium. “No one focused on it because of 9/11,” says official at Livermore. Findings confirmed in June 2002 NIE. CRS study says it dates from 1995 {???]: “The Clinton administration reportedly learned of it in 1998 or 1999, and a Department of Energy report of 1999 cited evidence of the program.” NDU study by Armitage and Wolfowitz concluded AF had frozen “only a portion of [North Korea’s] nuclear program” and that Pyongyang was “seeking to develop a covert nuclear weapons program.” In November 1999, a report by a House Republican advisory group that included the chairmen of armed services, international relations and intelligence committees said, “There is significant evidence [of] undeclared nuclear weapons development activity.” It specifically mentions “efforts to acquire uranium enrichment technologies.” An unclassified version of a CIA report said, “During the second half of 1999, Pyongyang sought to procure technology worldwide that could have applications in the nuclear program, but we do not know of any procurement directly linked to the nuclear weapons program.” A former senior official in the Clinton administration said the secret part of the report outlined details of purchases or attempts to gain assistance which were then believed to indicate an “experimental” or “research and development approach” to starting a uranium enrichment program. In February 2000 President Clinton stopped short of certifying to Congress that “north Korea is not seeking to develop or acquire the capability to enrich uranium,” instead waiver certification in approving funds for North Korea under the AF. A CIA report covering the last six months of 2001 reported, “The North has been seeking centrifuge-related materials in large quantities to support a uranium enrichment program. It also obtained equipment suitable for use in uranium feed and withdrawal systems.” By May Vice President Cheney pushed the National Intelligence Council to pull together a NIE on whether the North was building a uranium enrichment facility. In June 2002 a NIE “conclusively” confirmed the North had turned from research and development to actual pruichases of materials to construct a gas centrifuge facility to enrich uranium, according to a senior intelligence official. Morton Halperin, who worked on the NSC in the Clinton administration and later headed policy planning at the State Department, said the Bush team “did not want to pay attention to North Korea because they knew there was no military option, knew they would have to negotiate as Clinton did, and so they were in a box.” On August 29, Bolton quoted from the declassified CIA report sent to Congress a year earlier covering the second half of 1999 [see above]. (Walter Pincus, “N. Korea Nuclear Plans Were No Secret,” Washington Post, February 1, 2003, p. A-1)

Senior US official: “What we’ve been doing is trying to avoid [letting] the North Korea situation interfere with Iraq. Not that North Korea is a lower priority or that we are less concerned about it, but you can only handle so many international crises at the same time. … We’ve had a number of different considerations we’ve been wrestling with, but the ultimate conclusion that the North’s benefits under the AF are about to disappear is not in dispute anymore. …It’s not all wrapped up, because we do have to deal with allies and the international community, and we’ve got Iraq there. We’re not in any hurry to get this to a resolution quickly, but there shouldn’t be any misunderstanding as to what our direction is.” The next step is to abandon the LWR project. Although the ROK and Japan fund the reactors, “everybody knows that if we are not committed to this thing, it’s not going to happen, he said. “The Japanese Diet is not going to appropriate another yen for those things given the current circumstances,” and once Mr. Kim leaves office in Seoul, “support for this house of cards will collapse.” [if Lee wins] (Nicholas Kralev, “North Korea Gets Low-Key Brushoff of Treaty,” Washington Times, November 18, 2002)

Powell: “We are allowing the current fuel ship to head in, but we’re suspending all future fuel deliveries. That was the agreement of all of the members of KEDO, which [is the] Korean Energy Development Organization, and I think we have been responding in a very prudent way. But it’s North Korea that has to fix the problem. I might also say at this point that the North Koreans should understand that the United States has no hostile intent toward North Korea. We have no intention to invade. We have no intention to impose our sovereignty upon their sovereignty. We recognize them as a sovereign nation that perhaps, at some future time, there will be a way to unify the Korean Peninsula, and we don’t intend to threaten them or to invade them. We would like to help them if they will allow themselves to be helped, and it begins with ending this program and some other programs they have that we believe that are destabilizing.” (Press Briefing for High School Student Newspaper Editors, State Department Text, November 18, 2002)

US, ROK agree ROK will hand UN Command DPRK list of demining inspectors. (Seo Soo-min, “Korea, US Agree to Simplify Verification Measures,” Korea Times, November 19, 2002) Under article I.8 of the July 27, 1953 armistice agreement, no one in the DMZ “shall be permitted to enter the territory under the control of the other side unless specifically authorized to do so by the Commander into whose territory entry is sought.” North Koreas seeking to inspect demining, a prelude to laying rails, refused a request from the UN Command to submit the names of their inspectors, saying the Command had no jurisdiction. While the U.S., which heads the Command had granted the two Koreas “administrative” authority in the railway corridors, it declined a DPRK request for “jurisdictional” authority. (Christopher Torchia, “’53 Accord Mars Koreas Railway Plan,” Associated Press, November 16, 2002)

KCNA broadcasts statement attributed to Pak Chang-ryun, DPRK delegate on eve of N-S economic talks: “No matter how perversely the United States behaves, our people will push ahead all inter-Korean cooperation projects, including cross-border railways and roads, more vigorously.” (Paul Shin, “Report: North Korea Pledges to Push Ahead with Inter-Korean Projects Despite Nuclear Tensions,” Associated Press, November 18, 2002)

Koizumi reaction to Feith’s seeking Japanese support for development. “How many years will it take until such a defense shield is actually deployed?” asked one Koizumi aide. “It would be much more realistic to persuade North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons and missile development through negotiations.” “Missile defense is one option in dealing with an adventurous state that is not affected by deterrence,” Defense Agency dir gen Ishiba Shigeru had told Diet Security Committee on November 5. “If research results are produced and found beneficial, we will move to the development stage. We should make every effort to achieve such research results as soon as possible.” (Asahi Shimbun, “As North Korea Talks Stall, Calls Grow for Missile Defense,” November 19, 2002)

Edward Markey (D-MA), 28 other Democrats, call for halt to reactor project in letter to President Bush.

Tokyo Metropolitan Police search headquarters of General Association of Korean Residents on suspicion of illegal transactions with Chogin Tokyo Shinkumi Bank. (Hiramatsu Kenji, “Leadup to the Signing of the Japan-DPRK Pyongyang Declaration,” Gaiko Forum, (Winter 2003), 30)

DPRK threatens to abandon missile test moratorium over Japan’s failure to return kin of abductees. (Hiramatsu Kenji, “Leadup to the Signing of the Japan-DPRK Pyongyang Declation,” Gaiko Forum, (Winter 2003), 30)

Roh Moo-hyun elected president of ROK

Senator Kyl gets newly declassified intelligence estimate: “Restarting the 5 MWe reactor would generate about 6 kg per year. The 50MWe reactor at Yongbyon and the 200 MWe reactor at Taechon would generate about 275 kg per year, although it would take several years to complete construction of these reactors.” On HEU: “We did not obtain clear evidence indicating the North had begun constructing a centrifuge facility until recently. We assess that North Korea embarked on the effort to develop a centrifuge-based uranium enrichment program about two years ago. Last year the North began seeking centrifuge-related materials in large quantities. It also obtained equipment suitable for use in uranium feed and withdrawal systems. We recently learned that the North is constructing a plant that could produce enough weapons-grade uranium for two or more nuclear weapons per year when fully operational — which could be as soon as mid-decade.

The CIA estimated that the two reactors could generate about 275kg of plutonium per year if they were operating. (CIA unclassified point paper distributed to congressional staff on November 19, 2002, cited in (Mary Beth Nikitin, North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons, Congressional Research Service RL34256, February 12, 2009, p. 7)

HFO shipment docks in Nampo

GOP right in Congress preparing draft legislation to scuttle reactor deal, provide aid to North Korean refugees. “What Lugar has been saying is that, unlike with Iraq, he believes we need to find a way to talk to the North Koreans and through negotiations, seek to find a way for them to disarm and follow the ’94 agreement.” (Carol Giacomo, Conservatives Want Tough Action on North Korea,” Reuters, November 19, 2002)

Deputies Committee meeting agreed that the Multilateral Interdiction Force conducting operations under the Iraq sanctions regime should interdict the Son San and inspect its cargo. … We had clear authority to do so, since the ship had repeatedly obscured its name and registration markings, making it a ‘stateless’ vessel; we had other authority as well, including Cambodia’s (one of the several places the vessel was registered) not objecting to a boarding. The So San’s master claimed he was only carrying cement, until the Spaniards dug through several layers of cement bags and found over a dozen crates of Scud missiles. … Of course, covert action against proliferation had been around for a long time, but here we had potential for something new. [Robert] Joseph and his staff … did much of the conceptual thinking … and we had actually had some very preliminary discussions with the Brits about enhanced interdiction efforts, but the So San affair was what catalyzed and drove the process forward.” (Bolton, Surrender Is Not an Option, pp. 121-22)

ROK navy fires warning shots at DPRK patrol boat that briefly crossed NLL in pursuit of Chinese fishing boats, ROK DefMin official says. (Paul Eckert, “S. Korea Fires Warning Shots at Northern Boat,” Reuters, November 20, 2002)

DPRK turns off IAEA monitoring cameras, removes seals at Yongbyon

DPRK FoMin spokesman: “On November 14 the U.S. announced a decision to stop supplying heavy oil to the DPRK from the upcoming December. …The decision is a wanton violation of article 1 of the framework which stipulates that the United States of America, representing the Korean Energy Development Organization in accordance with the October 20, 1994, guarantee message of the U.S. President, shall adopt a measure to make for the loss of energy in return for the freezing of the graphite moderated reactors and their related facilities of the DPRK till the completion of light water reactor no. 1 and it shall supply heavy oil for the use of heat and electricity production as alternative energy. Now that the U.S. unilaterally gave up its last commitment under the [Agreed] Framework, the DPRK acknowledges that it is high time to decide on who is to blame for the collapse of the framework.” Reiterates its 10/25 statement, “The U.S. President and all other authorities said that the U.S has no intention to invade the DPRK. So, if they are sincere in their remarks, there is no reason whatsoever for them not to give legal assurances of non-aggression to the DPRK. But the U.S. responded to the DPRK proposal for concluding a non-aggression treaty with a decision to stop supplying heavy oil to the DPRK.” (KCNA, “DPRK Foreign Ministry Spokesman on U.S. Decision to Stop Supplying Heavy Fuel Oil,” November 21, 2002)

KEDO personnel blocked from inspection of HFO use (Howard W. French, “North Korea Says It Will Bar Fuel Inspectors,” New York Times, November 23, 2002, p. A-11)

Wrongly implies deal in December 1993: at state dinner in Pyongyang Benazir Bhutto says states have “their right to acquire and develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, geared to their economic and social development.” Delegation left with plans for Nodong. A.Q. Khan visit North several times. In 1997 or 1998 Kim Jong-il decided to begin uranium bomb project. (David E. Sanger, “In North Korea and Pakistan Deep Roots of Nuclear Barter,’ New York Times, November 24, 2002, p. 1)

Military court finds second GI not guilty of negligent homicide in June accident

Tanaka Hitoshi meets with North Koreans in Dailan: no progress; in phone conversation earlier this month, high-ranking North Korean who is influential in the military and one of Kim Jong-il closest aides, told him, “I can’t convey your claim on this issue to my superiors,” a sign of loss of trust for Tanaka. (Yomiuri Shimbun, “Official Feels Chill from N. Korea,” November 24, 2002)

Rodong Sinmun signed commentary: “It is very ridiculous of the U.S. to assert that the decision was made by the ‘collective will’ of member states of the Korean Energy Development Organization (KEDO). The signatories to the DPRK-U.S. Agreed Framework (AF) are the DPRK and the U.S., not the KEDO. And the latter leads the KEDO. These facts go to prove that the U.S. Government made the decision to stop the supply of heavy oil to the DPRK before publishing it on behalf of the KEDO. It was more shameless for the U.S. to try hard to create the impression that the DPRK was the first to violate the AF when announcing the decision. It is already known to the world how wantonly the U.S. has violated the AF and how persistently it has neglected the fulfilment of its commitments under the AF. …The DPRK has kept its nuclear facility frozen for the last 8 years since the adoption of the AF despite a huge loss of electricity. The U.S. hue and cry over the DPRK’s “nuclear development” and “threat of weapons of mass destruction” from the DPRK are, in essence, little short of forcing the DPRK to disarm itself and remain barehanded before the U.S. The master key to settling the present serious situation prevailing on the Korean Peninsula is to conclude a non-aggression treaty between the DPRK and the U.S. The present grave situation is pushing the DPRK to the phase where it cannot respect the AF any longer. (KCNA, “U.S. Denounced for Ditching International Agreement,” November 25, 2002)

Aoyama Kenki, self-described double-agent says in about 1996 he celebrated arrival of centrifuges, met nuclear scientist in Beijing suffering from radiation who said North made nuke in 1997, North also has bioweapons program. Diet testimony blocked. (c, “Defector from N. Korea Creating a Stir in Japan,” November 27, 2002, p. A-12)

Landmine removal for rail, road links restarts

In 1997 Kang T’ae Yun, DPRK diplomat based in Pakistan who also worked for Ch’anggwang Trading Company, arranged for supply of maraging steel from All Russian Institute of Light Alloy in Moscow to both Pakistan and North Korea. Beginning in late 1997 foreign intell agencies began monitoring increased cargo flights between Pakistan and North Korea — up from 3 a month in autumn to three times that by January 1998. Nuclear materials and technology transferred on private airline run by retired Pakistani air force officer with close ties to ISI, says former high-level Indian defense official. In summer 2002 US detected clandestine efforts to buy aluminum tubes for gas centrifuges (IISS, Strategic Comments, “Pakistan and North Korea: Numerous Counter-Trades,” November 2002) Kang’s wife killed by North Korean agents in AQ Khan Research Laboratories because she was provide details to western intelligence. (Rajeev Sharma, “N. Korean Diplomat Was Shot in Pak,” The Tribune (Chandigarh),December 7, 2002)

Rodong Sinmun: “Recently U.S. President Bush issued a secret order to the U.S. special-ops troops to destroy arms supply lines of the DPRK, Iran and Iraq. Rodong Sinmun today describes the order is an open declaration of war against the DPRK, an evidence that the frantic campaign mounted by the U.S. over “nuclear threat from North Korea” is a very reckless and dangerous one. The news analyst says: The secret order makes clearer what the U.S. seeks in dismissing the DPRK-proposed conclusion of a non-aggression treaty with the U.S. and trying to disarm the DPRK under the pretext of “threat from weapons of mass destruction.” The U.S. seeks to provoke a war against the DPRK and takes action to this end. More dangerous, the order came when the U.S. efforts to stifle the DPRK over nuclear threat have gone to the extremes. The DPRK cannot remain a passive on-looker to the grave situation. Retaliation for “retaliation” and total war for “total war” — this is a principle constantly maintained by the DPRK and its countermeasure for self-defense. If the U.S. encroaches upon something belonging to the DPRK even a bit, the DPRK will consider it as the start of preemptive attacks and respond to it with determined and strong military countermeasure. The DPRK has strength, means and practical will to respond to any mode of military operations. If they are displayed, the U.S. will feel regrettable for its action that will lead to its self-destruction. says recently President Bush issued a secret order to US special-ops troops to destroy arms supply lines of DPRK (KCNA, “Rodong Sinmun on Bush’s Secret Order,” December 1, 2002)

Putin-Jiang summit: urge US to normalize relations with DPRK, call for political dialogue (Audra Ang, “U.S. Urged to Reconnect with North Korea,” Associated Press)

Lee Hoi-chiang, GNP candidate behind in polls, says in interview, “I will meet Chairman Kim Jong-il at any time for a serious discussion of pending inter-Korean issues, including North Korea’s nuclear development program. I will attach no strings.” Hwang Jang-jin, “Lee Would Meet N.K. Leader Anytime, No Strings Attached,” Korea Herald, December 3, 2002) Official [pollster] in GNP president campaign: “I think the current anti-US sentiment may give the edge to Roh Moo-hyun. Roh has a unique perspective about the U.S. that is more in tune with the current feelings toward the U.S.” (Korea Times, “Anti-US sentiment Emerges As Key Campaign Issue,” December 4, 2002)

US military official in Seoul briefs Financial Times accuses North of annual exports of $100 million in heroin and amphetamines: “This state-controlled drug trafficking. The military grows its drugs and diplomats sell it overseas.” (Andrew Ward, “North Korea Involved in Narcotics Trade, Says US,” Financial Times, December 4, 2002, p. 6)

In rain and snow 80,000 attend candlelight vigils in Seoul,other cities to mourn two girls run over by US military vehicle in June. (Na Jeong-ho, “Tens of Thousands Join Anti-US Candlelight Vigil,” Korea Times, December 8, 2002) Pew Global Project survey: South Koreans oppose US-led war on terror 72% to 24%, differ with US over policies (versus values) by 53% to 41%, say it’s bad that US ideas are spreading 62% versus good 32%. Highest number of any country, 73%, say the U.S. ignores their country’s interests in its foreign policy.

“Our people don’t understand why nobody has been held responsible for the deaths of the two young girls,” Kim Dae-jung tells Daniel Inouye (D-HI) and Ted Stevens (R-AK). (Don Kirk, “Seoul Leader Calls For U.S. Action on Girls’ Death,” New York Times, December 10, 2002, p. A-18)

Rumsfeld memo to Gen. Peter Pace, JCS, Subject: South Korea: “It is not possible to know if the unrest will grow on a sustained basis over a period of time, or whether it will ebb and flow. Certainly there is at least a strong likelihood it is being hyped at the present time because of the election. I don’t know what will happen when the election is over. In any event, we are working on new contingency plans. Second, we felt all along that we need to rearrange our footprint there. I don’t like to change our footprint when we are under pressure and it looks like it was forced. It just encourages demonstrators. Nonetheless, I do want to change the footprint. It seems tio me that you ought to get together a plan in the next three weeks as to how we should do it. We should at least be moving out of Yongson in the capital. It seems to me to be just a red flag. Thanks.” (Rumsfeld Papers)

At TCOG ROK Deputy FM Lee Tae-shik tried to dissuade the United States freom an immediate cutoff of heavy fuel oil shipments. A compromise allowed the November shipment, already on board a ship headed for North Korea, to proceed, but halted further shipments. On November 14, the KEDO Executive Biard, under heavy U.S. pressure, agreed to a statement halting HFO shipments with key wording dictated over the phone to U.S. representative Jack Pritchard. (Oberdorfer and Carlin, The Two Koreas, p. 378)

Spanish navy, alerted by US, fires on and boards unflagged merchant ship So San bound for Yemen and seizes 15 SCUDs; shipment freed 12/11after telephone conversations between VP Dick Cheney and Yemeni Pres Ali Abdallah Saleh in which Saleh reaffirmed a promise not to buy more missiles from North. (Jofi Joseph, “The Proliferation Security Initiative: Can Interdiction Stop Proliferation?” Arms Control Today, (June 2004), p. 7) Bush is “a very, very unhappy man” after the release. (David E. Sanger and Thom Shanker, “Reluctant U.S. Gives Assent for Missiles to Go to Yemen,” New York Times, December 12, 2002, p. A-1) “The Yemeni government had given us some earlier assurances that they were no longer procuring this kind of equipment, and this was really grandfathered as the last shipment of a contract that they had entered into. And because there was nothing inherently illegal about what they were doing and it was a purchase which, by international law, was acceptable, and with the assurance of the Yemeni president that the missiles were not going anywhere but Yemen and we could check any time we wanted to, and also the assurance that his earlier commitment that no more such contracts were underway or would be placed in the future, it was on that basis and because of our friendship and relationship with Yemen that the judgment was made that it was in the best interests for those missiles to go forward. But we have demonstrated that we have a capacity to find such things and intercept them, and make different judgments at different times depending on what’s in the ship and where it’s going.” (Secretary of State Colin Powell testimony, Senate Appropriations Committee, Foreign Operations Subcommittee, April 30, 2003) “Under the Law of the Sea Convention, vessels on the high seas can be stopped by ships of their flag state.[U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, 1833 UN Treaty Series 3, 21 ILM 1261, Article 92]A ship may also be stopped if it is without nationality — that is, it flies no flag and does not otherwise demonstrate its state of registration.[Frederick Kirgis, “Boarding of North Korean Vessel on the High Seas,” The American Society of International Law, ASIL Insights, December 12, 2002] Because the So San flew no flag, it was subject to inspection. But the cargo was not illicit. Carrying weapons at sea does not violate international law unless the transporting state has agreed under treaty not to transport such goods.[Ibid.] North Korea is not a party to the Missile Technology Control Regime, and hence had a right to transport the Scuds. …In Article 19, the Convention gives ships the right of innocent passage through territorial waters. The concept is simple: ships may pass through territorial waters so long as their intentions are innocent. Passage is innocent under the convention where passage is ‘not prejudicial to the peace, good order, or security of the coastal state.’ Transporting missiles or WMD components is not mentioned, and it is difficult to assert that such transport fits into any of the prohibited activities. In Article 23 of the Convention, ships carrying nuclear weapons are explicitly given the right of innocent passage.” (Benjamin Friedman, “The Proliferation Security Initiative: The Legal Challenge,” NAPSNET, March 24, 2004) DepSecSt Armitage, in Beijing, says seizure shows North Korea can’t hide from US monitoring. ROK official says Armitage in Seoul en route to Beijing told ROK of planned seizure. (Greg Jaffe and Carla Anne Robbins, “Ship Carrying Scud Missiles Is Boarded by U.S.,” Wall Street Journal, December 11, 2002, p. A-15) [Origin of PSI]

Bush National Strategy to Combat WMD proclaims doctrine of preemption: “The United States will continue to make clear that it reserves the right to respond with overwhelming force — including through resort to all our options — to the use of WMD against the United States, our forces abroad, and friends and allies.” Declassified version of NSPD 17 signed in May. Classified appendix lists North Korea among the countries that are the central focus of the new U.S. approach. (Mike Allen and Barton Gellman, “Preemptive Strikes Part of U.S. Strategic Doctrine,” Washington Post, December 11, 2002, p. A-1)

Civic activists issue statement: “The cause for the escalation of the anti-American protests is the accumulated dissatisfaction of the Korean people about the unequal relationship between the two countries. The protests should be understood as calling for an equal Washington-Seoul relationship, not merely as opposing the United States or its army.” (Na Jeong-ju, “Civic Leaders Say ROK-US Alliances Must Not Be Impeded,” Korea Times, December 10, 2002)

DPRK Foreign Ministry spokesman’s statement: “The prevailing situation compelled the DPRK government to lift its measure for nuclear freeze taken on the premise that 500,000 tons of heavy oil would be annually supplied to the DPRK under the DPRK-U.S. Agreed Framework (AF) and immediately resume the operation and construction of its nuclear facilities to generate electricity. The United States actually stopped the supply of heavy oil to the DPRK from the beginning of December in the wake of its November 14 decision to stop the delivery of heavy oil to the DPRK which had been under way under the AF, the statement said, adding that whether the DPRK refreezes its nuclear facilities or not hinges upon the U.S.” (KCNA, “DPRK Government to Immediately Resume Operation and Construction of Its Nuclear Facilities,” December 12, 2002)

PM Koizumi: “If you read the North Korean announcement carefully, their consistent stance is to seek a peaceful resolution.” (Doug Struck, “North Korea Says It Will Renew Work at Reactors,” Washington Post, December 13, 2002, p. A-1)

Letter to IAEA from Ri Je-son, dir-gen of General Department of Atomic Energy “requests that the IAEA remove seals and monitoring cameras on all of its nuclear facilities,” adding, “if the IAEA fails to expeditiously take measures to meet our request we would like to take the necessary measures unilaterally.” (IAEA, Report by the Dir-Gen, “Implementation of Safeguards in the DPRK,” December 30, 2002)

Bush telephones Kim Dae-jung. “The two heads of state agreed that they cannot accept North Korea’s decision to lift its nuclear freeze, and they agree to urge North Korea to withdraw its decision,” said national security adviser Lim Sung-joon. They “also agreed to continue their efforts to seek a peaceful resolution.” (Choe Sang-hun, “Bush, South Korea’s Kim Urge North Korea Not to Restart Its Nuclear Program, Say They Seek Peaceful Solution,” Associated Press, December 13, 2002)

Roh Moo-hyun, Chung Mong-joon ally in presidential campaign

“The United States should stop at once the showing of [“Die Another Day”] describing the DPRK as part of the ‘axis of evil,’ inciting inter-Korean confrontation, groundlessly despising and insulting the Korean nation and malignantly even describing religion,” says Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland.” (Choe Sang-hun, “North Korea Attacks James Bond Movie,” Associated Press, December 14, 2002)

In letter to IAEA North says status of nuclear facilities is a matter between it and the U.S. and “not pursuant to any agreement” with the IAEA. (Arms Control Association, “Chronology of U.S.-North Korean Nuclear and Missile Diplomacy,” June 2003)

Kim Dae-jung calls Koizumi for 15-minute talk on nuclear issue.

Letter to IAEA from Ri Je-son, dir-gen of General Department of Atomic Energy: “If the IAEA fails to respond to our request expeditiously, we will proceed with the necessary measures unilaterally.” (Seo Hyun-jin, “N.K. Vows to Remove Seals, Cameras from Nuke Sites,” December 16, 2002)

As many as 100,000 South Koreans, 50,000 in Seoul, attend anti-US protest rallies

North and South remove landmines paving the way fro rail, road links (Hwang Jang-jin, “Inter-Korean Projects Intact Despite Nuclear Issue,” December 15, 2002)

President Bush formally approves National Security Presidential Directive 23 targeting North Korea for triad of conventional nuclear weapons, missile defenses, and research. (Bill Gertz, “Bush Case on Defense Plan Cites N. Korea,” May 27, 2003, p. 1; William Arkin “Not Just a Last Resort?” Washington Post, May 15, 2005, p. B-1)

North-South Red Cross talks on family reunions, opening permanent reunion center

Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) on ABC “This Week with George Stephanopoulos: “I think we’re in danger as a result of the Bush Administration policy toward North Korea of turning a situation which is difficult into one which is quite dangerous and I think we ought to be in this case not just using the stick and getting into a long distance exchange of curses with the North Koreans, we ought to be using a carrot and go right to North Korea and begin to negotiate with them. We cannot have a nuclear North Korea. That is a danger, and incidentally, under the agreement that the North Koreans made with the Clinton Administration in ’94, they promised to stop building a reactor that would have produced plutonium. They kept that particular promise and, in fact, today, some experts tell me that if the Clinton Administration had not entered into that agreement, the North Koreans would have 20 nuclear weapons. The world would have been a much more dangerous place.” Richard Lugar (R-IN): “I agree with Joe Lieberman, we really have to be in negotiation, we have to be talking. … We have to be very thoughtful and very responsible so I agree the President should not be threatening military action. Having said that, the North Koreans have a lot of problems, and they include humanitarian assistance and we ought to continue the food shipments.” Lieberman: “I think we’re into a point now where each side the US and North Korea seem to be trying to be more macho than the other, and when you do that, you can end up in a war that you didn’t really mean to get into, a lot of the experts that I talk to about North Korea, people who’ve been there, spoken to the North Korean leader, Kim Jong- Il, say to me that what he’s doing here is really crying out for a whole new chapter in relations with the United States. It’s just what he did in ’94 with the plutonium reactor, when the Clinton Administration negotiated with him, he made a deal and he kept it and the world is a safer place as a result. Now he’s begun to develop another path to uranium, not plutonium, uranium-enriched nuclear weapons, I think we can negotiate him to stop that path and the South Koreans, our allies there would like us to do that.”

Michael Green paper, “The International Approach”: “The argument was, we need to keep the allies on board to contain the problem,” Green recalled. “We need to make a diplomatic effort to keep them on board, but we also need them once diplomacy fails. So we have to show some ankle, we have to be a little more forthcoming, because the allies are not willing to be tough and put pressure on unless we were willing to create a diplomatic process. But we need to be very tough.” Samantha Ravich paper, “Regime Change” argued U.S. goal should be Kim Jong-il’s downfall. Robert Joseph and John Rood paper, “Tailored Containment”: “the idea was that you would not continue to give assistance to prolong the life of the regime, and by doing so, the nuclear threat,” recalled Joseph. Instead, they called for sanctions, increased economic pressure, and interdiction of North Korean weapons exports. “It was morally repugnant to be part of extending the life of that regime.” NSC Asia Director Jim Moriarty and Jim Kelly favor Green’s approach. Rice eventually endorses Joseph’s. (Chinoy, Meltdown, pp. 145-46)

Powell at press conference after US-Japan defense, foreign ministers’ meeting: “What we can’t and won’t do is reward North Korea for its misbehavior.” (Japan Times, “Japan, U.S. Urge North Korea to Scrap Its Nuclear Weapons,” December 18, 2002)

Richard Perle in Chosun Ilbo interview: those who think “resolution through diplomatic means” means something other than resolution were mistaken: “the danger to be brought on us by North Korea’s nuclear development is so great that it will result in a quarantine of unprecedented comprehensiveness.” Military means not ruled out: “The Bush administration will consider all the alternatives because the dangers involved are so substantial.” (Chosun Ilbo, “US Hawk Warns Not to Rule Out Military Options,” November 18, 2002)

Chung Moon-joon withdraws support on election eve after Roh Moo-hyun tells campaign rally: “if the U.S. and North Korea start a war, we will stop it …we should proudly say we will not side with North Korea or the United States” while under Lee, US would take ROK acquiescence for granted. “We almost went to the brink of war in 1993 with North Korea, and at the time we didn’t even know it,” he said of US plans to bomb nuclear facilities. “We don’t want to become spectators again. In the old days we were not able to solve our problems ourselves. Now it’s different. We should say with confidence what we want and what we demand.” (Doug Struck, “Alliance Falls Apart on Eve of South Korean Elections,” Washington Post, p. A-20; Howard W. French, “Seoul May Loosen Its Ties to the U.S., New York Times, November 20, 2002, p. A-1) Roh TV interview: “At the time of the [Dec 19 elections], some U.S. officials who had considerable responsibility in the administration talked about the possibility of attacking North Korea. … I felt so desperate. I couldn’t even say in public what would happen if the United States attacked North Korea because that would make people afraid. I then felt that no matter what differences I might face with the United States, I would oppose an attack on North Korea.” (Doug Struck, “S. Korean Says U.S. Considered Attack on North,” Washington Post, January 19, 2003, p. A-18)

Roh Moo-hyun wins 48.9% Lee 46.6% Kwon 3.9%

Robert Gallucci: “I don’t have any trouble with diplomacy backed by force. But what I don’t understand is force with no diplomacy.” (Nicholas D. Kristof, “Hold Your Nose and Negotiate,” New York Times, November 20, 2002, p. A-39)

Deputy Permrep Han Song-ryol telephones Governor Bill Richardson. “I want you to help us with the Bush administration.” This guy just doesn’t get it. “Han, there was an election two years ago. I am a Democrat. My guys lost. I was just elected governor of New Mexico. What the hell can I do?” (Bill Richardson, Between Two Worlds (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2005), pp. 297-98)

IAEA inspectors inform Dir-Gen that DPRK cut most of the seals and impeded functioning of surveillance equipment at Yongbyon reactor (IAEA, Report by the Dir-Gen, “Implementation of Safeguards in the DPRK,” December 30, 2002)

Japanese favor diplomatic ties to North by 66.1% to 26% in Cabinet Office poll taken October 10-20 (Japan Times, “66% of Japanese Favor Links with North Korea,” December 22, 2002)

North removes seals from cooling pond at Yongbyon. KCNA: “The U.S. is responding to the DPRK’s call by escalating international pressure on the DPRK, insisting that dialogue is possible only when the DPRK drops its nuclear program first, far from positively reacting to such patient efforts of the DPRK to settle the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful way. The IAEA has not shown any positive attitude, whiling away time after proposing what it called working negotiations. This situation compelled the DPRK to immediately start the work of removing the seals and monitoring cameras from the frozen nuclear facilities for their normal operation to produce electricity.” (KCNA, “Work of Removing Seals and Monitoring Cameras from Frozen Nuclear Facilities to Start, December 22, 2002) Curiously, the North Koreans only covered the surveillance cameras and pointed them toward the wall, almost as if to say that they expected the IAEA to be back eventually. (Oberdorfer and Carlin, The Two Koreas, p. 380)

Memo from SecDef Rumsfeld to UnderSecy Doug Feith, cc. Paul Wolfowitz, Gen. Myers, Subject: South Korea: “Please get a small group together, possibly Lawless, Rodman and someone from the Joint Staff, to come to me with an outline of what you think we might want to do by rearranging our relationship with South Korea. As you know, the new President-elect [Roh] has stated he wants to review the relationship. Rather than pushing back, I think we ought to accept that as a good idea. If we had recommended it, we could be accused of destabilizing the peninsula, but he recommended it. I think it is an opportunity. We should agree with him, immediately put in place a process to do it and then drive the process so that we don’t do anything that destabilizes the peninsula. We would coordinate it carefully with our overall policy with respect to the peninsula, but we would get the job done. We have been there since 1950. It is time to rearrange the relationship and put the burden on the South Koreans. We could use the country as a lily pad to reinforce in the event of a conflict initiated by North Korea, but also have our forces there stop being so Korea-centric and instead be regionally oriented. Specifically, I am thinking about having a sea capability and an air capability that could be deployed into the region as well as to assist South Korea in the event of a problem and to certainly continue to have a strong deterrent. I think it is a fine opportunity. We do need to rearrange our footprint there. We are irritating the South Korean people. We need to have a smaller footprint, fewer people, and have them arranged not so much in populated areas. On Sunday I called Gen. LaPorte and talked to him about this, and he is going to start work on it this week. Thanks.” (Rumsfeld Papers)

DPRK unseals reprocessing plant, impedes surveillance cameras. Informs the IAEA it will restart reactor within one to two months. (IAEA, Report by the Dir-Gen, “Implementation of Safeguards in the DPRK,” December 30, 2002)

SecDef Rumsfeld says North Korea should not be emboldened by US preoccupation with Iraq, “We are perfectly capable of doing what is necessary.” Senior US official says administration intends to keep playing hardball with Kim. “He feels like he’s got a little wiggle room because we’ve got our plate so full of other things. It’s always better to play your brinksmanship when the person on the other side of the table is preoccupied. The demands of the war on terrorism, a potential war with Iraq, the situation in Afghanistan and how delicate that is … All of that does complicate things.” (Peter Slevin, “N. Korea Warned on Arms Bill,” Washington Post, December 24, 2002, p. A-11)

Pres-elect Roh convenes advisers to discuss crisis; sets up task force of Yoon Young-kwan, Suh Dong-min, Lee Jeong-suk, Suh Choo-suk, Moon Chung-in, and Wi Sung-lac

Oh Young-hwan and Chung Yong-su, “Roh Worried Nuclear Crisis Would Provoke War,” JoongAng Ilbo, NovEmber 8, 2004)

North begins moving fuel rods into reactor, IAEA tells Chun Young-woo, ROK dir-gen of intl orgs. (Shim Jae-yun, “NK Begins Moving Fresh Fuel Rods to a Reactor,” Korea Times, December 26, 2002; Chosun Ilbo, “North Continues Shipping Fuels Rods, December 27, 2002)

North and South hold 2nd working-level maritime cooperation talks, initial 15-point accord to allow each other exclusive sea routes for inter-Korean trade, allow direct radio communications between vessels in an emergency. (Seo Soo-min, “Koreas Agree on Exclusive Sea Routes,” Korea Times, December 29, 2002)

SecDef Rumseld memo to VP Cheney, SecState Colin Powell, DCI George Tenet, Energy Sec Spencer Abraham, NSA Condoleezza Rice, Subject: Remaining Firm on North Korea: “It is clear from North Korea’s actions over the weekend that Kim Jong-il is taking a series of steps designed to blackmail us into negotiations with him. Our best response to this strategy is to remain calm and firm. We should continue to deny Kim Jong-il the kind of attention he craves and has been accustomed to receiving in response to provocative beha vior. We need to train Kim Jong-il to understand that blackmail tactics that worked with the previous administration will no longer work. We should strongly encourage the IAEA to respond forthrightly to North Korea’s latest violation of its Safeguards Agreement. The IAEA should call a spade a spade, and take the necessary steps to refer the violation to the United Nations Security Council and General Assembly in keeping with its charter. Putting the matter before the Security Council — or even threatening to — will confront the Chinese and Russians with the seriousness of this issue. [Sentence redacted.] There is no reason for us to shy away from UN consideration; on the contrary. The argument that some members of the previous administration are making — that North Korea is resorting to provocations because we refuse to negotiate — has it backwards. Getting us to the table is the trophy Pyongyang seeks; for us to grant it in response to the latest nuclear provocations would only reinforce Pyongyang’s weak hand and prove that bad behavior pays. As the Agreed Framework shows, such a negotiation produces bad agreements. At the same time, we need to move quickly to flesh out the ‘tailored containment’ policy the President approved at the NSC meeting of November 13. Partly because we have not yet defined the elements of this approach, we are, for the moment, ceding the initiative to the North Koreans. We need to clarify our basic principles and strategy. Our approach should focus on pressures that we can bring to bear. Examples of such pressures are: a UNSC resolution prohibited North Korean missile exports (which would strengthen our hand in the next ‘Yemeni SCUD case); cutting off funds North Korea receives from abroad, such as from Chosun Soren in Japan; pressing China and Russia to ratchet up diplomatic pressure and constrict economic aid and development projects. The North Koreans are not going to allow us to ignore them, but we need not react on their terms. We need to remain firm that we will only talk once they verifiably dismantle their entire nuclear weapons program. Any hints that we are prepareding to go to the negotiating table now would be a victory for North Korea, validating its blackmail tactics and putting us at a distinct disadvantage. Iraq should not distract us from this necessity. The opposite is true: yielding to blackmail by North Korea would undercut, globally, the credibility of our determination to combat the spread of weapons of mass destruction. I recommend the Principals discuss the way ahead at the PC meeting this Friday. Until that time, we should take no actions that encourage Pyongyang to believe it tactics are succeeding.” (Rumsfeld Papers)

Curt Weldon (R-PA) should establish dialogue with North Korea (Trudi Rubin, “Let North Korea’s Nukes Build Up — Or Start Talks?” Philadelphia Inquirer, December 26, 2002)

If our strategic goal is to stop North Korea from becoming the Asian arsenal of terror, here is what we should do: First, begin withdrawing our troops from South Korea. Next, make clear to China that we hold it responsible for restraining its Communist partner in Korea. (William Safire, N.Korea: China’s Child,” New York Times, December 26, 2002, p. A-39)

DPRK announces expulsion of IAEA inspectors, in letter to IAEA, “since there is no justification for them to remain” because “our freeze on nuclear facilities has been lifted the mission of IAEA inspectors has naturally drawn to an end.” (Peter S. Goodman, “North Korea to Expel U.N. Inspectors,” Washington Post, December 28, 2002, p. A-1) Inspectors leave December 31. “The United States stopped supplying HFO and thus ditched the DPRK-U.S. Agreed Framework after listing the DPRK as part of an ‘axis of evil’ and a target of its preemptive nuclear attack. As a countermeasure against it, the DPRK Government decided to lift the freeze on its nuclear facilities, the measure which had been taken on the premise that the US would supply 500,000 tons of heavy oil to the DPRK annually under the AF, and immediately resume the operation and construction of nuclear facilities to generate electricity. According to this decision, the DPRK will complete the suspended construction of its nuclear power plants and operate the radiochemical laboratory as part of the preparations for safely storing a large number of spent fuel rods which would be turned out during the operation of those plants. And preparations will be rounded up soon for the operation of this laboratory.” (KCNA, “DPRK Government Decides to Order IAEA Inspectors Out of DPRK,” December 27, 2002)

The Bush administration, surprised by the speed of North Korea’s defiant reopening of the shuttered Yongbyon nuclear facility, intends to refer the matter to the United Nations as part of a policy one official described yesterday as “isolate and contain.”(Peter Slevein and Walter Pincus, “U.S. Will Refer N. Korea Nuclear Effort to U.N.,” Washington Post, December 28, 2002, p. A-1)

ROK is not on board. “If the UNSC stepped in, it would mean the situation will drag on,” one government official said. “That scenario runs counter to our wish to see the North’s nuclear program resolved peacefully and as soon as possible.” (Oh Young-jin, “Seoul Reluctant to See Nuclear Issue Go to UNSC,” Korea Times, December 27, 2002)

Japan is not on board, won’t emulate U.S. hard-line stance, says Tanaka Hitoshi, deputy minister of foreign affairs: “Japan has not rejected dialogue with North Korea. It is the work of diplomacy to define common interests and work toward having North Korea act to achieve those interests.” (Asahi Shimbun, “Tanaka: Tough Line Not Needed for North,” December 27, 2002)

Russia is not on board. Dep FM Georgy Mamedov: “To blackmail North Korea with its difficult economic position is counterproductive, dangerous. Russia promotes dialogue, encourages the creation of joint ventures, the construction of a railway between North and South. This is the right policy. … Here I disagree with my friend John Bolton, who said to my question in this regard whether he was pleased by what happened: ‘Yes, I am.’ I told him, ‘There you’re wrong. This is very dangerous. You forgot the Korean war and the incidents in the demilitarized zones where your own servicemen were killed.’” (Disarmament Diplomacy, “North Korea Turns Its Back on NPT in Spiraling Diplomatic Confrontation,” February/March 2003, p. 40)

Sen John Kerry (D-MA): “What happened in North Korea today is predictable and totally anticipated based on this administration’s complete avoidance of a responsible approach to North Korea in over a year and a half.” (Ron Fournier, “White House Denounces North Korea Move to Reactivate Nuclear Plant,” Associated Press, December 27, 2002)

Kurt Campbell: “If the Iraqis do anything to impede inspections, the administration says it’s cause for war. But when the North Koreans eject the inspectors and restart their nuclear program, they want us to believe that there’s no crisis.” (David E. Sanger, “Bush Aides Back Effort for U.N. Denunciation of North Korea,” New York Times, December 28, 2002, p. 11)

Condoleezza Rice: “Nobody, especially the president, is talking about attacking North Korea.” Asked about red lines the North may not cross, a senior administration official said, “The North Koreans would like nothing better than to create an atmosphere of crisis so they can blackmail the international community into granting them benefits. But they are just going to be further and further isolated.” Kurt Campbell: “When the North Koreans reactivated their nuclear reactor, the White House called it ‘regrettable.’ That’s the kind of word you use when the soup isn’t very good before dinner.” (Michael Dobbs, “For Wary White House, A Conflict, Not a Crisis,” Washington Post, December 29, 2002, p. A-1)

PM Koizumi dinner with Tanaka Akihiko and Kitaoka Shinichi of Tokyo University, Izumi Hajime, criticized for “leaving security completely up to the United States.” Akashi Yasushi interviewed: “There is a gap spreading between the United States and other countries. Japan, as a U.S. ally can fill in that gap. If Japan takes action in areas out of reach for the United States, Washington will count highly on Japan.” (Takagi Masanobu, “Challenge of America: Time for Japan to Shed ‘Passive Partner’ Role,” Yomiuri Shimbun, Janaury 17, 2003)

Administration strategy to increase financial and political pressure on North Korea, seek U.N. Security Council sanctions, intercept missile shipments, willing to negotiate but only if it first dismantles its nuclear weapons program. Senior admin off [Robert Joseph]: “It is called ‘tailored containment’ because it is an entirely different situation than Iraq or Iran. … It also requires maximum multilateral cooperation.” “No one anticipates that North Korea will collapse right away. But we won’t do anything to prop them up, and we will let the internal forces continue to work away.” (Michael Gordon, “U.S. Readies Plan to Raise Pressure on North Koreans,” New York Times, December 28, 2002, p. 1)

Secy Powell: “It is not a crisis, but it is a matter of great concern.” “We have channels open. We have ways of communicating with the North Koreans. They know how to contact us. We have our friends who also have contacts with the North Koreans. But what we can’t do, what we cannot do at this point, is, having misbehaved with respect to this new facility and now further violation of their international agreements with what they’re doing at Yongbyon, we cannot suddenly say, gee, we’re so scared, let’s have a negotiation because we want to appease your misbehavior. That is not an acceptable position for us to take, for the international community to take. This kind of action, this kind of behavior, cannot be rewarded.” (Transcript, NBC, “Meet the Press,” December 29, 2002)Secy Powell: “What they want is not a discussion. They want a negotiation where we give them something for them to stop the bad behavior. They want to be rewarded for violating the Agreed Framework and also violating the understanding we had that they would not be developing any kind of nuclear weapons. And what we can’t do is enter into a negotiation right away where we are appeasing them for bad behavior.” (Transcript, ABC, “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” December 29, 2002)

Secy Powell: “This year, the president made a clear statement that he had no hostile intent toward North Korea. And he said that in South Korea earlier this year.” (Transcript, CBS “Face the Nation”) Quotes Bush as saying “I have no hostile intent toward the North.” [Not Bush’s words but Powell’s] Powell’s language on ‘no hostile intent’ was picked up by the State Department spokesman, Richard A. Boucher, when he briefed the news media in the weeks after Powell’s television appearance. But the language disturbed hard-liners in the administration, who believed that North Korea had clearly demonstrated a hostile policy toward the United States — and that the phrase limited the administration’s options in using economic and other weapons to pressure Pyongyang. They began to press for its elimination from the administration’s talking points. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld raised the issue with Rice, who was then national security adviser, an official familiar with the conversation said. Rice agreed that the language should be dropped, and that only Bush’s earlier comment about not attacking and invading be used. (Glenn Kessler, “Three Little Words Matter to N. Korea,” Washington Post, February 22, 2005, p. A-10)

DPRK FoMin spokesman: Washington’s decision to suspend HFO deliveries puts “this special status of ours in peril.” “We have been left with no option but to consider self-defensive means to cope with the threat in order to protect the nation’s dignity and right to existence.” The problem must be resolved between the US and the DPRK because it is “a product of the latter’s hostile policy toward the former. …”It is quite self-evident that dialogue is impossible without sitting face to face and a peaceful settlement of the issue would be unthinkable without dialogue.” (Kyodo, “North Korea Hints at Pulling Out of NPT,” December 30, 2002)

Kim Dae-jung tells cabinet: “Pressuring and isolating communist countries have never been successful — Cuba is one example. But inducing such countries to open up through dialogue has always been successful. … We cannot go to war with North Koreas. We can’t go back to the Cold War system and extreme confrontation.” Many South Koreans resent what they see as American condescension, from an era that younger people do not even remember. “It is absolutely necessary to eradicate toadyism toward the United States,” Chun Chu-song, an economic professor with an American doctorate wrote last week in JoongAng Ilbo. (James Brooke, “South Korea Criticizes U.S. Plan for Exerting Pressure on North,” New York Times, December 30, 2002, p. A-1)

LDP to offer bill to authorize government-imposed restrictions on remittances (Yomiuri Shimbun, “LDP Bill Could Cut Cash to North,” December 30, 2002)

Pres Bush news conference in Crawford: “I view the North Korean situation as one that can be resolved peacefully, through diplomacy. …There is strong consensus, not only amongst the nations in the neighborhood and our friends, but also with international organizations, such as the IAEA, that North Korea ought to comply with international regulations. I believe this can be done peacefully, through diplomacy, and we will continue to work that way. I take — all options, of course, are always on the table for any President, but by working with these countries we can resolve this.” (White House, Office of the Press Secretary, “President Discusses Iraq, North Korea with Reporters, December 31, 2002)

Russian president Vladimir Putin has privately suggested six-party talks. U.S. officials are not opposed to the idea, believing it would not violate their pledge against direct talks. But China has been resistant, arguing that the North Koreans would not show up. A US official: “The Chinese came back and said, ‘you need to talk to them,’ which raises the question about whether they are carrying our water to Pyongyang or they are carrying Pyongyang’s water to us.” (Glenn Kessler, “U.S. Seeks Regional Pressure on N. Korea,” Washington Post, December 31, 2002, p. A-14)

Berger/Gallucci op-ed: “We need to engage the North on concrete verifiable actions that go beyond the AF and move the peninsula to greater security, not greater danger. First, North Korea should be required to deal with its past now. The AF deferred resolution of the North’s nuclear history from the 1980s — when it most likely produced enough plutonium for one or two weapons — until later in the process of implementation. Under any new arrangement, this fissile material would have to be accounted for and safeguarded now, and any weapons disassembled as was done by South Africa. Second, the North must accept nationwide verification by the IAEA … Third, the spent fuel containing plutonium accumulated in the past, which is, under the 1994 agreement, sealed in canisters for shipment out of the country later, should be removed now.” (Samuel R. Berger and Robert L. Gallucci, “Two Crises, No Back Burner,” Washington Post, December 31, 2002, p. A-17)


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