THE GROWNUPS IN CHARGE. Hilzoy explains the implications of today's revelations about the abject fiasco that is Bush's North Korea policy:

Let's be very clear about what this means. We used to have a deal, the Agreed Framework, that kept North Korea from getting plutonium. We supposedly discovered that they were cheating on that deal by enriching uranium. Personally, I did not think that was a good reason to scrap the Agreed Framework -- making a uranium bomb takes a lot longer than making a plutonium bomb, and I didn't see why the discovery that North Korea had embarked on a slow, cumbersome process of developing nuclear weapons, one that wouldn't actually produce any weapons for years, was a reason to say: well, go ahead and develop nuclear weapons much more quickly, then!

All this time, though, I was assuming that the North Koreans actually had a uranium enrichment program, and that they actually were cheating on the Agreed Framework. That's what this article calls into question.

If they didn't have a uranium program, then we scrapped the Agreed Framework, and let North Korea access its plutonium and build nuclear weapons, FOR NOTHING.

Brilliant! In all fairness, it must be acknowledged that we did keep the world safe from Iraq's non-existent mustard gas. See also Matt and Barbara.

--Scott Lemieux

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