North Korea deal grossly counterproductive

November 20, 2008 — by Gautham Ganesan

With the Bush administration coming to a merciful close Jan. 20, one would envision a smooth ride out of the tunnel of decrepit financial policies, steady decline in individual liberties and unnecessary war that has encapsulated the last eight morbid years. But alas, the engine has sputtered one last time as, in one of his final acts as commander-in-chief, Bush has feebly strung together a deal with North Korea that appears shortsighted at best and significantly detrimental to American efforts in that region at worst. Given the President’s track record, the latter seems more likely.

The crux of the deal is that the United States will agree to shamelessly strike off North Korea from a comprehensive list of official state sponsors of terrorism, the motive for which ostensibly being the attempted salvation of a failing pact precluding North Korean nuclear activity.

For America to willingly consider an unstable dictatorial regime currently harboring an unknown quantity of nuclear weapons no longer a legitimate terrorist threat is unfathomable. The stupidity of the move is further exacerbated by North Korea’s active attempts to try and shield their nuclear program from international inspectors. Bush himself has decried the nation as a prominent member of the “axis of evil,” yet is now bending far too easily to North Korea in a painfully transparent attempt to redeem some semblance of foreign policy credibility.

The deal has elicited a variety of criticism, most notably from presidential nominee and Sen. John McCain, who is rightfully skeptical of whether or not the North Koreans will carry out their alleged plans to denuclearize. While the deal stipulates that American inspectors are entitled to examine a specific nuclear compound in Yongbyon, it does not contain provisions for combating the very real and very frightening possibility that the country could be harboring other nuclear weapons elsewhere, a fear further fueled by the nation’s vehement resistance to inspectors patrolling other parts of the country for weapons.

When viewed objectively, this deal accomplishes nothing to assist ongoing U.S. attempts to staunch nuclear proliferation in North Korea. In ceasing to recognize the country as part of the administration’s elusive “terror list,” the deal in fact encourages North Korea to further its illicit endeavors.

Of course, for a regime that has been wrought with irresponsible foreign policy blunders, this counterproductive measure serves as a fitting swan song.