kvining - 2/24/2006 9:03 PM
North Korea is a Stalinist basket case that will collapse internally before it's nuclear dreams are ever realized.
Why hasn't it happened yet? If mass starvation doesn't accomplish the collapse, what's it going to take? Should the West stop sending food aid?
BTW, North Korea had U.N. inspectors in place until 2003. Then it restarted plutonium production, which it had ceased since the Clinton agreement, and withdrew from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. These developments may clearly be laid at the doorstep of the present Administration, although a few Bush fanatics will tell you otherwise.
By September 2004, North Korea declared that it had converted 8,000 spent nuclear fuel rods into weapons. Since then, they have been hard at work on long-range delivery systems, having already tested medium-range missiles. North Korea is also believed to possess a substantial arsenal of chemical weapons.
Of course, Kim Jong Il (unlike Saddam Hussein, for instance) also threatened the United States directly and repeatedly. Many observers have claimed that the Bush Administration's fixation (and then warfare) upon Iraq gave Kim the freedom to ramp up his nuclear plans.
If you're interested, Selig Harrison wrote a fairly sympathetic review of the Bush Administration's handling of North Korea's spiral into nuclear arms production which you can read here