Did the Bush administration put a stop to the handouts to North Korea?
Pulling a section of the dialogue out :
Rush: If, as you say, theyre an impoverished nation, where does he get this material?
Cox: The tragic irony of North Korea today is that, while its impoverished citizens are eating the bark off of trees, Kim Jong Il is maintaining a million-man army. He is doing so in part with subsidies from the American taxpayers.
Rush: Whoa! Can you explain that?
Cox: Since the commencement of the Clinton-Gore Administration, North Korea has moved from zero U.S. foreign aid, which had been maintained since the Eisenhower Administration, to becoming the No. 1 recipient of U.S. foreign aid in the Asia Pacific region.
Rush: Youre kidding.
Rush: Why? How?
Cox: It is an all too familiar tale of naiveté.
Rush: Do you really think its naiveté?
Cox: That and Pollyanna-ish good intentions gone bad. The "Agreed Framework" with North Korea was executed on the basis that every step of the way America could monitor compliance. Only in return for North Korean good deeds would the United States provide very modest support. What happened, instead, is that the support grew much more rapidly than was originally represented, and North Korean noncompliance became a reason for continuing the payments. The Clinton Administration argued that if we were to cut off foreign aid, then things could only get worse.
It is an abysmal policy. It is a policy in which Kim Jong Il has been free to threaten the United States -- and receive payments for forbearing.
Rush: What is the nature of the threat to the United States from North Korea? Do they have yet, or are they close to having, a military capability to launch a strike against the continental United States?
Cox: The reason that sensible people, even occasionally the Clinton-Gore Administration itself, are skeptical about North Korean intentions is that they are maintaining a military so hugely out of line with their requirements. Their offensive capabilities are not directed exclusively towards South Korea, but rather clearly they are also directed towards the United States.
I mentioned the ballistic missile capability. It is, of course, concerning to Republicans and Democrats alike that Kim Jong Il, who is unstable and unpredictable, would possess the capacity to threaten American cities. North Korea possesses already a small quantity of nuclear materials.
Rush: Given to them by us?
Cox: No, these materials were not sourced by the United States. What the Clinton Administration is providing comprises three things. First, food aid. The purpose of the food aid to North Korea is humanitarian. But unfortunately, the United States is not allowed to monitor the distribution of the food. A North Korean defector has told us that Kim Jong Il uses the food to prefer Communist Party members, and as a means of controlling the population. He also uses it to give priority to his million-man army.
Rush: Does the Clinton Administration know that?
Rush: It doesnt phase them?
Cox: They choose not to believe it. But of course, they have no other evidence, because we are not allowed to follow that aid in.
Rush: So its just the defectors word?
Cox: Well, it isnt just a single defector. Doctors Without Borders, a group well known to Americans, resigned from participation in the food distribution programs because they were not able to guarantee it was going to its intended recipients.
Rush: I interrupted you. Whats the second thing?
Cox: The second kind of aid that we are providing to North Korea is heay fuel oil. This is going to North Koreas military industrial complex -- at a time when Americans are complaining about high gas prices, and New Englanders are complaining about lack of home heating oil.
The third kind of assistance is nuclear power plants.
Rush: Is any of that assistance being appropriated for their nuclear arms program?
Cox: It could very well be in the future. The reactors are not yet constructed. The Clinton Administration has agreed to provide Kim Jong Il with two light-water reactors. When these reactors come on line, they will provide enough plutonium to construct approximately 60 bombs per year.
Rush: Congressman, I remember Madeleine Albright saying some years ago that the United States had no intention of being the sole superpower in the world -- that we didnt want the burden, and that we were eager to share it. Just as its entirely logical to assume that we have facilitated the transfer of nuclear data between the United States to China, it sounds like were doing the same thing with North Korea; two nations who are both sworn enemies. You say the root of this is all due to good intentions. Lets assume for a moment the Clinton Administration is comprised mostly of liberals. Is this just part of the liberal view of Communism, that it really doesnt intend us any harm, and if we just extend the hand of friendship we can turn them around and make them our friends?
Cox: That is an apt description, I think, of the policy formulations of this Administration. There is a strong aura of Jimmy Carters speech at Notre Dame, in which he decried our "inordinate fear of Communism."
Rush: Yet the evidence of history is that Communists are what they are, kill who they kill. The evidence is in North Korea. The main population is starving. Were facilitating the propping up of a murderous and barbaric regime, and its all predicated on good intentions. When do these people learn? I mean those in this Administration, the left. How many Ronald Reagans is it going to take?
Cox: At least one more. You are quite right about the gulf between what is most charitably described as the Clinton-Gore naivete and the hard facts. North Korea is not merely a dictatorship. It is a uniquely monstrous tyranny thats tormented the Korean people for half a century and, under Kim Jong Il, represents the most completely totalitarian and militarized state in human history.
Rush: Im at a loss to explain why we treat them as anything other than an enemy.
Cox: And the Clinton-Gore Administrations choice of the means to assist the Communist government of North Korea is especially incongruous. . The author of Earth In the Balance is unlikely to permit U.S. taxpayers to enjoy the benefits of nuclear power at federal expense anywhere in the United States. But rather than solve the North Korean energy crisis with wind power, or solar power, or even hydorelectric power or coal, the Clinton Administration -- even before North Korea was able to seriously demand it -- capitulated to their request for two nuclear power plants. There is no guarantee that North Korea could ever have built the reactors they already had on the drawing boards because they didnt have the money. Under the Agreed Framework, literally billions of dollars will be provided by Western governments, including South Korea, Japan, and the United States, to pay for what Kim Jong Il could not have obtained on his own.
Rush: Now that is an excellent illustration. What they will not allow to happen in the United States, they are encouraging and paying for in North Korea. Im not by any stretch of the imagination a conspiracy theorist, but when you hear stories like this that so defy common sense, you are forced to ask yourself a question: Since it defies common sense, why in the world does it appear that this Administration engages in policies that, if they do not weaken the United States, certainly dont promote our growth? Why would this Administration then turn around and promote the technological advancement of an enemy nation, which wouldnt happen if left to its own devices? It literally makes no sense.
Cox: It is dangerous and wrongheaded, to say the least.
Rush: Youve got to be extremely frustrated in your position in Congress trying to deal with this.
Cox: Well, I successfully offered an amendment on the Floor of the House a few weeks back that prevents the Clinton Administration from putting its dream of North Korean nuclear reactors into place. If my amendment becomes law, it will prevent the Clinton Administration from secretly guaranteeing against the costs and expenses of a North Korean nuclear accidents.
Rush: But will the passage of a law stop this Administration?
Cox: Heres why. General Electric is the vendor for the turbines included in this particular light-water reactor design. General Electric observed that North Korea is not reliable as agovernment guarantor against nuclear accidents. In other countries where General Electric builds nuclear power plants, they rely on the central government to protect them against catastrophic loss. Here there would be no such protection, and they expressed to the Clinton Administration their unwillingness to go forward with the Clinton plan unless the Clinton Administration could bail them out in the case of a Chernobyl-style accident. The Clinton Administration lacks the statutory authority to do this, but in typical fashion, they sought to stretch an existing law beyond recognition and were prepared to extend this guarantee -- until the Los Angles Times discovered it and printed a story. Based on the information that was then made public, I was able to write this law, which may well cause the General Electric participation to end. Without the turbines, there will be no plants.
Rush: Well, lets hope General Electric doesnt buckle or change their attitude or isnt forced to. You never know with this Administration. I mean, theyve targeted the tobacco industry. Theyve targeted the gun manufacturers. They have shown that theyre willing to use lawyers to go after bankruptcy proceedings if they dont get policy that they like.