North Korea Waves Its Nuclear Weapons in the Air and Threatens to Launch Them Preemptively Against US and SK, While Amano Stresses the Importance of Visiting Iranian Sites that May or May Not Have Had Something to do With Experiments that Might or Might Not have been Related to Nuclear Weapons Research Twenty Years Ago

UPDATE: A friend just passed along to me the fact that North Korea still has in force with the IAEA an INFCIRC/66, facilities specific agreement, covering its IRT-2000 research reactor. I honestly wasn’t aware of this.  And it does appear to be correct that, unlike NK’s INFCIRC/153 CSA, the INFCIRC/66 agreement did not expire when NK withdrew from the NPT.  INFCIRC/66 agreement templates pre-date the NPT, so don’t have a clause terminating the agreement upon withdrawal from the NPT as the INFCIRC/153 template does. So it would appear that the IAEA still has this safeguards agreement in force with NK.

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Could there be a clearer sign of how politicized, biased and out of touch with the reality of nuclear weapons proliferation concerns the IAEA is under Amano, than these two stories (here and here) coming out on the same day?

Let’s start a signature petition to ask Hans Blix to challenge Amano for the DG-ship at the General meeting in September.  I want my name to be first on the list!!!

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11 Comments on “North Korea Waves Its Nuclear Weapons in the Air and Threatens to Launch Them Preemptively Against US and SK, While Amano Stresses the Importance of Visiting Iranian Sites that May or May Not Have Had Something to do With Experiments that Might or Might Not have been Related to Nuclear Weapons Research Twenty Years Ago”

  1. Didn’t it take a couple of votes to get Amano in the first time? IIRC reading it took US pressure on the IAEA Board to get him in. The very existence of the Wikileaks cables on him should have been sufficient to get him booted out.

    That said, frankly no one really cares about North Korea’s nukes because a) they’re likely duds, and b) North Korea’s threats are so boring and unbelievable no one bothers to listen to them. There’s no way they can threaten the US with nukes and everyone knows it.

    And of course, they don’t have any oil or any influence on anyone else in their region. The entire country is merely a nuisance to everyone.

    The IAEA exists now solely for the purpose of being used to flog Iran for regional hegemony reasons. It has completely discredited itself in the eyes of the NAM nations. The entire NPT might as well be retired at this point. Once the Iran war starts, that will be the end of it.

    A lot of people think Iran should withdraw from the NPT now. I don’t agree because why hand any more propaganda talking points to your enemies than you have to? But when the US attacks Iran, they might as well withdraw at that point. I suspect they actually won’t, however, regardless of the attack.

    I’m also completely convinced that even when the US attacks Iran, they won’t attempt to build nukes, first because they won’t be able to in a hot war, and second because they couldn’t use them if they did manage to build a few.

  2. There’s also the point that Iran is allowing itself to be browbeaten by the West whereas North Korea doesn’t. 🙂

    Frankly, I’d like to see Iran simply tell the West to “f***-off” and refuse to even talk to the West any more about its nuclear program. Just declare their program peaceful and declare they’re not going to discuss it any more with anyone.

    As is said in Federal prison: “I hope you don’t like it. Now what are you going to do about it?” 🙂

    Granted, this violates my “no handing propaganda points to the enemy” rule. But there comes a time when you have to treat the enemy as your enemy. As ex-SEAL Richard Marcinko says, quoting ancient Chinese strategists, “Treat the enemy as your enemy, because he will invariably treat you that way.” Which is exactly what the West is doing to Iran.

    • Don Bacon says:

      You and I might do that but Iran is playing a wiser game. They’ve been leading the US by the nose for years now, and the situation is under control. We shouldn’t argue with success. Iran came up with the Asia-Pacific pivot before the US did!

      Staying in the NPT is particularly wise because it gives Iran hostages against any surprise attack.

  3. yousaf says:

    Dan — I had posted this before but since you mention Blix here, I think everyone should read this:

    Here is a Bloomberg story that is clients-only (no URL yet):

    Iran Spy Data Need Checks as Amano Prepares New Term, Blix Says

    2013-03-07 11:09:53.179 GMT

    By Jonathan Tirone

    March 7 (Bloomberg) — Intelligence information given to
    United Nations monitors showing possible military dimensions to
    Iran’s nuclear work should be double-checked, said Hans Blix,
    the former director-general of the UN atomic group.

    The International Atomic Energy Agency’s board of governors
    yesterday endorsed its current leader, Japan’s Yukiya Amano, for
    a second four-year term. The appointment, which needs
    ratification by the agency’s full membership in September, may
    shape the way Iran’s decade-long investigation is carried out.
    “The IAEA must not be the prolonged arm of intelligence
    agencies,” Blix said in a March 4 interview in Dubai. “I don’t
    think you can possibly have a decent relationship with the
    country you inspect if they see that the inspectors contain
    people that come from intelligence or maybe even collect
    information about suitable targets.”

    The Vienna-based IAEA is pressing Iran to give greater
    access to people, places and documents to clear up allegations
    of atomic-bomb work made by anonymous intelligence agencies.
    While the IAEA calls the information “credible,” the Islamic
    Republic says inspectors are using forged documents to raise
    international pressure against a peaceful nuclear program.
    “We have to work on the Iran nuclear issues,” Amano said
    at a briefing in the Austrian capital late yesterday. “I need
    cooperation from Iran, and through this cooperation I have to
    produce concrete results. That is the way to ensure a peaceful
    solution.”

    No Blank Check

    Iran, whose nuclear scientists have been targets of
    assassinations and whose infrastructure has been subject to
    sabotage, says that while it’s willing to work with monitors, it
    won’t do so at the expense of national security.
    “We are committed to continue our dialogue with the
    IAEA,” Iran’s agency envoy Ali Asghar Soltanieh told reporters
    yesterday in Vienna. “At the same time, we cannot write a blank
    check because of our national security. No country would give a
    blank check. There should be a criteria, a framework.”

    Soltanieh criticized Amano for elevating concern over his
    country’s atomic work by publicizing intelligence information
    that hasn’t been authenticated. Amano’s decision to publish
    unsourced intelligence, a break in policy from his predecessor,
    Nobel Peace Laureate Mohamed ElBaradei, drew U.S. praise.

    A February 2010 U.S. State Department cable called Amano’s
    first Iran report “sharper in tone” than those produced by
    ElBaradei, adding that the document “creates a positive
    precedent for how he intends to run safeguards investigations.”
    Data Exaggerated?
    “Also, unlike in the previous director-general’s reports,
    the IAEA does not mention the need for member states to provide
    original documentation to Iran,” according to the cable. Citing
    U.S. government policy, a State Department spokeswoman declined
    to comment.
    The IAEA subsequently released an overview of the
    intelligence it called credible in a November 2011 report.
    ElBaradei wrote in his 2011 biography, “The Age of Deception”
    (Metropolitan Books), that the IAEA didn’t make the information
    public during his tenure because it couldn’t be authenticated.
    “It may be that they are exaggerating it,” Blix said,
    referring to the intelligence shared with the IAEA. “There’s
    also a danger in telling us without revealing the actual
    sources. One has to be very careful about that.”
    Blix, who led the IAEA for 16 years until 1997 and was in
    charge of the UN’s Iraq nuclear-monitoring and verification
    group from 2000 to 2003, called the IAEA’s focus on the Parchin
    military complex a “sideshow.” Even if the alleged blast
    chamber was found at the site, “it doesn’t take us much
    further” in terms of measuring Iranian intentions.
    The Persian Gulf country is “ready to cooperate with the
    agency and the director-general, but we hope the course of
    action will be changed,” Soltanieh said. “These reports
    provoke member states. They should be purely technical.”
    For Related News and Information:
    Top Stories: TOP
    Iran nuclear tensions: STNI IRANTENS
    Top oil news: OTOP
    –With assistance from Andrew J. Barden in Dubai. Editors:
    Jennifer M. Freedman, Francis Harris
    To contact the reporter on this story:
    Jonathan Tirone in Vienna at +43-1-513-266-025 or
    jtirone@bloomberg.net
    To contact the editor responsible for this story:
    James Hertling at +33-1-5365-5075 or
    jhertling@bloomberg.net

  4. yousaf says:

    Do reporters not get embarrassed writing stuff like: “Iran’s suspected pursuit of a nuclear arms capacity…” ?

    So Amano will pursue Iran because Iran is using dual-use nuclear technology under safeguards?

  5. Bibi Jon says:

    I’m beginning to understand how uncomfortable NK must have felt when they read this:

    “First, we seek to bolster the nuclear non-proliferation regime and its centerpiece, the NPT, by reversing the nuclear ambitions of North Korea and Iran, strengthening International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards and enforcing compliance with them, impeding illicit nuclear trade, and promoting the peaceful uses of nuclear energy without increasing proliferation risks.”

    “To that end, the United States is now prepared to strengthen its long-standing “negative security assurance” by declaring that the United States will not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapons states that are party to the NPT and in compliance with their nuclear non-proliferation obligations.”

    http://www.defense.gov/npr/docs/2010%20nuclear%20posture%20review%20report.pdf

  6. Don Bacon says:

    I don’t understand how IAEA still has a safeguards agreement in force with NK concerning Yongbyon when the IAEA was (in effect) thrown out of the country nearly four years ago.

    From an IAEA fact sheet:
    September 2008. IAEA Removes Seals from Plant in Yongbyon. In September 2008, IAEA Director General ElBaradei reported to the Board that DPRK had asked the IAEA to remove seals and surveillance from the reprocessing plant in Yongbyon. The work was subsequently done, after which no more IAEA seals and surveillance equipment were in place at the reprocessing facility. The DPRK stated that IAEA inspectors would have no further access to the reprocessing plant.

    April 2009. IAEA Inspectors Depart. IAEA inspectors at the Yongbyon nuclear facilities removed safeguards equipement and left the country on 16 April 2009, following the DPRK decision to cease all cooperation with the IAEA.
    http://www.iaea.org/newscenter/focus/iaeadprk/fact_sheet_may2003.shtml

  7. yousaf says:

    Ignore Threat of North Korean Nukes. Obsess Over Threat of Imaginary Iranian Nukes.

    John Glaser, March 08, 2013

    http://antiwar.com/blog/2013/03/08/ignore-threat-of-north-korean-nukes-obsess-over-threat-of-imaginary-iranian-nukes/


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