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[casi] US Lets N. Korea Get Nuclear Data

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> US Lets N. Korea Get Nuclear Data
>      Wayne Washington
>      Boston Globe
>      Friday 7 March 2003
> >> Transfer Pact Stays in Effect
>      WASHINGTON - The Bush administration has not suspended or revoked the
> authority of Westinghouse Co. to transfer documents related to nuclear
> technology to North Korea, despite the fact that the Asian nation has
> admitted that it violated terms of a nonproliferation agreement it signed
> with Washington in 1994, US Department of Energy documents show.
>      Some Republicans have blamed the Clinton administration for the
> nuclear standoff with North Korea, arguing that the 1994 agreement calling
> for an end to the North's nuclear program in exchange for food and fuel was
> hopelessly optimistic and naive.
>      But Department of Energy documents released yesterday to
> Representative Edward J. Markey, Democrat of Malden, indicate that the Bush
> administration quietly worked under that agreement and rejected a chance to
> repudiate it in May 2001, when the Department of Energy extended for five
> more years the authority for Westinghouse to transfer nuclear technology to
> North Korea.
>      ''They've engaged in rhetorical hostility, but policy continuity with
> the Clinton administration's North Korea policy from the very beginning,''
> said Markey, who is cochairman of a congressional nonproliferation task
> force and a member of the Homeland Security Committee.
>      Former secretary of state James A. Baker III and Senator John S.
> McCain, Republican of Arizona, have been strongly critical of the Clinton
> administration's handling of the issue in 1994.
>      Baker wrote that the agreement, under which the United States would
> also provide North Korea with two new nuclear reactors that would be used
> for nonmilitary purposes, was ''a mistake that has made stability on the
> Korean Peninsula less, not more, likely.''
>      McCain wrote that ''the Clinton administration's lack of credibility
> in dealing with North Korea emboldened the regime to defy America.''
>      McCain did not fault Bush for not stepping away from the agreement
> when he had a chance to. Yesterday, a source in McCain's office, speaking
> on condition of anonymity, said: ''The overwhelming responsibility lays at
> the doorstep at the Clinton administration.''
>      Markey, however, said the Republicans were trying to have it both
> ways, quietly working under the agreement and then blaming Clinton for the
> current situation in North Korea.
>      In a series of letters and committee meetings, Markey prodded the Bush
> administration to provide specific information on what nuclear technology
> transfers had been approved. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham, responding
> on March 4 to a letter Markey sent to him on Oct. 22, told the congressman
> that more than 3,000 nuclear-related documents have been reviewed by the
> department and that 300 documents have been transferred to North Korea. The
> department did not say when those documents were transferred.
>      The 300 documents include a safety analysis report, training
> documents, quality assurance documents, and construction documents, Energy
> Department documents show.
>      In light of North Korea's admission that is has been pursuing a
> nuclear weapons program in violation of the 1994 agreement, the Bush
> administration is ''now considering appropriate courses of action, possibly
> to include suspension or revocation of the May 2001 authorization,''
> Abraham said.
>      Officials at Westinghouse could not be reached for comment yesterday.
>      After being confronted with US intelligence on its activities, North
> Korea admitted last October that it had embarked on a nuclear weapons
> program. Since that time, North Korea has tested weapons while Secretary of
> State Colin L. Powell was in the region and intercepted a US reconnaisance
> flight. The Bush administration has refused to call the situation a crisis
> and refused to meet with the North Koreans, arguing that doing so would
> reward Pyongyang's behavior.
> Congressional Democrats have been increasingly critical of Bush's approach
> to North Korea, with many insisting that the threat posed by a
> nuclear-armed North Korea is far greater than any posed by Iraq.

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