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Six Party Agreement

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Certainly devotees of the “nothing to see here” school of purported North Korea—Syrian nuclear cooperation, of which I am a member, are being tested by the stream of reports and leaks coming out of Israel and Washington concerning the notorious September 6 bombing raid on Syria. On September 22, The Sunday Times weighed in with... Read More
Update, September 16, 2007 I was hoping the North Korean nukes in Syria story was an opportunistic bit of Boltonian nonsense that would be put to rest with a bit of State Department pushback. I found the subsequent statement from the State Department’s Andrew Semmel—who is apparently a non-doctrinaire arms control professional— to be reassuring... Read More
History Gets Whacked by Lazy Time Magazine Stenography on North Korean “Soprano State”...But Lawrence Wilkerson...
With the shutdown of the reactor at Yongbyon, the Six Party agreement to denuclearize North Korea has lumbered into its next stage. That means it’s time for all the hardliners who eagerly predicted the collapse of the agreement (and, indeed, may have worked actively to sabotage it by hindering the unfreezing of the North Korean... Read More
Via AP: From Reuters:
North Korea hardliners are attempting some pushback on the reported deal that will utilize the Federal Reserve and a Russian bank to electronically remit $25 million in funds frozen at Banco Delta Asia to a North Korean bank account. As Reuters reports, a group of GOP congresspeople have written the General Accountability Office to request... Read More
With respect to the reports in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times concerning the Russian bank/Federal Reserve Bank route to remitting the Banco Delta Asia funds to a North Korean account, my initial, jaundiced view was to take it as merely a piece of negative confirmation: that the efforts to obtain a... Read More
As sharp-eyed read DJ pointed out, Bush admits that somebody “screwed up” on the North Korea funds transfer. Full text of the Kyodo News report : Presumably the people that “screwed it up” were in the State Department by being creatively vague in February about what “resolving” the BDA matter actually meant—so they could get... Read More
Nothing like a good conspiracy theory to liven up a dusty diplomatic and banking dispute. Via Onefreekorea , the March 19 Washington Times informs us that Congressman Ed Royce (whose positions closely follow those of the hardline crowd on North Korea) wrote a letter to Condoleezza Rice accusing the State Department of trying to “unravel”... Read More
Thanks to readers David and BB, I had a chance to read John Bolton’s Wall Street Journal op-ed. I had anticipated a laborious and tedious fisking might be required, but there’s not a whole lot of there there. Owing to frustration, despair, or an emotion familiar to many people covering the Banco Delta Asia saga—boredom—the... Read More
There are encouraging signs that the bizarre inability of the world’s only hyperpower to enable the remittance of $25 million to North Korea is attracting more and more skeptical interest. And there are signs that the hardliners are getting desperate. John Bolton has been summoned to muddy the waters with a conspiracy theory op-ed. Arms... Read More
There’s been a flurry of rumor and activity on the BDA front, with indications that the fat lady, if not ready to sing, is at least clearing her throat. Rumors are circulating that the $25 million in unfrozen but heretofore unremittable funds in Banco Delta Asia will be remitted to Russia...Italy...Singapore...Vietnam...and/or Mongolia. I also read... Read More
"Presumed guilty until proven guilty" makes for a quick and easy North Korea policy...but it's no substitute for global diplomacy David Asher’s testimony before a joint House subcommittee on April 18 provided considerable entertainment—inadvertent as well as intentional. It also revealed some things about North Korea, a lot about the Bush administration and David Asher--and... Read More
Getting to the Bottom of the Treasury Department’s Economic Campaign Against North Korea
Thanks to Asad in the comments for bringing up the issue of parallel U.S. efforts to cut Iran off from the international financial system, using the same laws, arguments, and tactics as it has employed to confront North Korea. It's an important reminder that US North Korea policy has to be viewed through an Iranian... Read More
The neocons are emerging from their cubbyholes to defend their role in screwing up the Six Party Agreement. David Asher, whose ostentatious self-promotion as leader of the State Department’s anti-North Korean efforts I have previously critiqued, pontificated on the significance of the BDA case from his new perch at the Heritage Foundation. Yet for the... Read More
$25 million in accounts related to North Korean entities on deposit at Banco Delta Asia that were frozen by Macau’s monetary authority after the United States Treasury Department announced that BDA was a bank of “primary money laundering concern” looks like it’s finally headed to a North Korean account at Bank of China. Maybe. On... Read More
Even though John Bolton is gone, like Lord Voldemort he left part of himself in horcruxes scattered through the US government. With the realist takeover of the State Department and the exorcism of Bob Joseph, one of the last bastions of Boltonianism is Stuart Levey’s operation, the Office for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence at the... Read More
Retraction In a comment on Arms Control Wonk in 2007 and in this post, I made the statement that the website Onefreekorea had apparently received an advance copy of a government ruling concerning Banco Delta Asia. I inferred this from my reading of the timestamp on the OFK post, which I believed indicated that the... Read More
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How America was neoconned into World War IV