Monday, May 25, 2009
Amidst the cacophony of condemnation from all sides following North Korea’s second nuclear bomb test, there has been no mention whatsoever of how the secretive Stalinist state got its weapons in the first place – they were paid for by the U.S. government.
Both the Clinton and Bush administrations played a key role in helping Kim Jong-Il develop North Korea’s nuclear prowess from the mid 1990’s onwards.
The hypocrisy being spewed forth from all sides in reaction to today’s news that North Korea tested an underground nuclear device equivalent to 10 times the power of their first test in October 2006 is akin to when the U.S. cited Iraq’s possession of chemical and biological weapons as a reason to invade in 2003, having first checked the receipt of course, since it was Donald Rumsfeld who brokered the deal to supply Saddam with those weapons in the first place.
Rumsfeld was also the man who presided over a $200 million dollar contract to deliver equipment and services to build two light water reactor stations in North Korea in January 2000 when he was an executive director of ABB (Asea Brown Boveri). Wolfram Eberhardt, a spokesman for ABB confirmed that Rumsfeld was at nearly all the board meetings during his involvement with the company.
Rumsfeld was merely picking up the baton from the Clinton administration, who in 1994 agreed to replace North Korea’s domestically built nuclear reactors with light water nuclear reactors. So-called government-funded ‘experts’ claimed that light water reactors couldn’t be used to make bombs. Not so according to Henry Sokolski, head of the Non-proliferation Policy Education Centre in Washington, who stated, “LWRs could be used to produce dozens of bombs’ worth of weapons-grade plutonium in both North Korea and Iran. This is true of all LWRs — a depressing fact U.S. policymakers have managed to block out.”
“These reactors are like all reactors, they have the potential to make weapons. So you might end up supplying the worst nuclear violator with the means to acquire the very weapons we’re trying to prevent it acquiring,” said Sokolski.
The U.S. State Department claimed that the light water reactors could not be used to produce bomb grade material and yet in 2002 urged Russia to end its nuclear co-operation with Iran for the reason that it didn’t want Iran armed with weapons of mass destruction. At the time, Russia was building light water reactors in Iran. According to the State Department, light water reactors in Iran can produce nuclear material but somehow the same rule doesn’t apply in North Korea.
In April 2002, the Bush administration announced that it would release $95 million of American taxpayer’s dollars to begin construction of the ‘harmless’ light water reactors in North Korea. Bush argued that arming the megalomaniac dictator Kim Jong-Il with the potential to produce a hundred nukes a year was, “vital to the national security interests of the United States.” Bush released even more money in January 2003, as was reported by Bloomberg News.
Bush released the funds despite the startling revelation, reported by South Korean newspapers, that a North Korean missile warhead had been found in Alaska.
Construction of the reactors was eventually suspended, but North Korea had an alternative source through which they could obtain the nuclear secrets vital to building an atom bomb arsenal – CIA asset and international arms smuggler AQ Khan.
In 2004, Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of Pakistan’s atom bomb program, admitted sharing nuclear technology via a worldwide smuggling network that included facilities in Malaysia that manufactured key parts for centrifuges.
Khan’s collaborator B.S.A. Tahir ran a front company out of Dubai that shipped centrifuge components to North Korea.
Despite Dutch authorities being deeply suspicious of Khan’s activities as far back as 1975, the CIA prevented them from arresting him on two occasions.
“The man was followed for almost ten years and obviously he was a serious problem. But again I was told that the secret services could handle it more effectively,” former Dutch Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers said. “The Hague did not have the final say in the matter. Washington did.”
Lubbers stated that Khan was allowed to slip in and out of the Netherlands with the blessing of the CIA, eventually allowing him to become the “primary salesman of an extensive international network for the proliferation of nuclear technology and know-how,” according to George W. Bush himself, and sell nuclear secrets that allowed North Korea to build nuclear bombs.
“Lubbers suspects that Washington allowed Khan’s activities because Pakistan was a key ally in the fight against the Soviets,” reports CFP. “At the time, the US government funded and armed mujahideen such as Osama bin Laden. They were trained by Pakistani intelligence to fight Soviet troops in Afghanistan. Anwar Iqbal, Washington correspondent for the Pakistani newspaper Dawn, told ISN Security Watch that Lubbers’ assertions may be correct. “This was part of a long-term foolish strategy. The US knew Pakistan was developing nuclear weapons but couldn’t care less because it was not going to be used against them. It was a deterrent against India and possibly the Soviets.”
In September 2005 it emerged that the Amsterdam court which sentenced Khan to four years imprisonment in 1983 had lost the legal files pertaining to the case. The court’s vice-president, Judge Anita Leeser, accused the CIA of stealing the files. “Something is not right, we just don’t lose things like that,” she told Dutch news show NOVA. “I find it bewildering that people lose files with a political goal, especially if it is on request of the CIA. It is unheard of.”
In 2005, Pakistani President Pervez Musharaf acknowledged that Khan had provided centrifuges and their designs to North Korea.
With this history in mind, the shock, condemnation and indignation being expressed by the U.S. government in response to North Korea’s second nuclear bomb test is tinged with hypocrisy to say the least. Through their policies in aiding North Korea to build light water reactors, and via the CIA asset AQ Khan who was protected at every step of the way while he helped provide North Korea with the means to build a nuclear arsenal, the U.S. government itself is directly complicit in providing North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il with the nuclear weapons that they are now condemning him for testing.
North Korea is controlled by a hereditary Stalinist dictatorship that has starved two million of its citizens to death in favor of building a million-man army. Some people put the figure at four million, one-quarter of the population. In the far north of the country there is a network of forced labor gulags where people who have ‘expressed a bland political opinion’ are, along with their entire families, tortured, raped and executed. Horrific bio-chemical experiments are performed on mass numbers of people. Babies are delivered and then stamped to death by the camp guards. If the mother screams while the guards are stamping on the baby’s neck, she is immediately assassinated by a firing squad. These guards are rewarded with bonuses and promotions for ripping out prisoners’ eyeballs.
The North Korean people are enslaved by a government that is using food as a weapon. Perhaps this is why the EU and the United States, via the UN World Food Program, resumed the shipment of hundreds of thousands of tons in food aid at the end of February 2003. This goes directly to the sitting dictatorship, which then decides who gets it by their level of allegiance to the state. Food aid only increases the power of Kim Jong-Il and yet it is veiled by the UN in bleeding heart humanitarian rhetoric. The money goes straight to enabling the North Korean leadership to live in the lap of westernized luxury with casinos and lavish new cars.
President Bush publicly claimed to loathe Kim Jong-Il and yet his administration, like Bill Clinton before him, set the policy to help North Korea obtain nuclear expertise. The U.S. intelligence network also protected AQ Khan and allowed him to provide the means with which North Korea aqcuired their nuclear capability.
Now the corporate media, along with Obama, the UN, Israel and others, are expressing their grave condemnation that North Korea is testing the very same nuclear weapons technology that was initially bankrolled by the U.S. government itself. Sanctions are already in the pipeline and others are even talking of military confrontation, which could ultimately lead to a conflict with China, North Korea’s close neighbor and ally.