A No-Nuke Korea

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While
in Beijing last week, Condi told her media sycophants that she and
President Bush "have no intention to invade or attack North
Korea." Furthermore, "we look forward to making progress
in the six-party talks because we must all be dedicated to a non-nuclear
Korean Peninsula."

Condi
certainly knows the truth about Bush’s intentions toward North Korea
– as she did about Bush’s intentions toward Iraq – and
you are supposed to believe she is telling you the truth about them
now, even though she most certainly did not tell you the truth about
Bush’s intentions toward Iraq.

But
upon arriving in South Korea earlier this year for her first visit
as secretary of state, Condi Rice didn’t immediately pay her diplomatic
respects to the South Korean president. No, she went straight to
our Command Post Tango, the underground bunker from which
air-naval-ground combined operations would be controlled in the
event of a "contingent" war with North Korea.

She
was there to "observe" the biannual "exercise"
of that "contingency" plan.

That
contingency plan has for many years included pre-emptive attacks
against North Korea’s "nuclear" facilities, some of which
are presumed to be deep underground.

However,
earlier this year, South Korea "rebuffed" Bush’s "contingency
plan" for taking "military action" against North
Korea in the event of "serious internal turmoil."

Bush
and his "command authorities" could assume "wartime
command" of both American and South Korean forces in the event
Bush decided that "internal troubles" in North Korea required
"military action."

Here
the Koreans and the Chinese were attempting to realize a "non-nuclear
Korean Peninsula," while Bush and the neo-crazies were planning
to attack North Korea to effect regime change?

Then
there’s the matter of Condi’s dedication "to a non-nuclear
Korean Peninsula."

On
the basis of her public remarks, Condi appears to equate a non-nuclear
Korean Peninsula with a transparent, verifiable permanent cessation
of all North Korea’s nuclear programs.

Where
has this woman been?

On
Sept. 27, 1991, President Bush, leader of the U.N. coalition that
had just ejected the Iraqi invaders from Kuwait, announced a) an
immediate "stand down" of all strategic bombers currently
on day-to-day alert and of all ICBMs scheduled for deactivation
under START, b) a halt in development of the rail garrison and mobile
ICBM program, and c) a cancellation of the short-range attack missile
(SRAM-II) program.

Eight
days later, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev announced that the
Soviet Union would follow suit.

Bush
also announced that the United States would unilaterally
withdraw all land-based tactical nuclear weapons from overseas
bases and all of its sea-based tactical nuclear weapons from U.S.
ships and submarines.

Approximately
100 U.S. nuclear weapons had been based in South Korea, and many
more were aboard U.S. ships and submarines making port there.

On
Dec. 31, 1991 – as a direct result of President Bush’s decision
to withdraw U.S. nukes from South Korea and from warships off-shore
– President Roh Tae Woo and Premier Kim Il Sung signed the
South-North Join Declaration on the Denuclearization of the Korean
Peninsula.

Under
the declaration, both countries agreed not to "test, manufacture,
produce, receive, possess, store, deploy or use nuclear weapons"
or even to "possess nuclear reprocessing and uranium enrichment
facilities."

At
that time, neither North nor South had nukes, so if we actually
did what Bush the Elder said we were going to do, then from 1992
to 2002 the Korean Peninsula was nuke-free.

But
in the following years, we have maintained our land-sea-air bases
in South Korea and have continued to conduct the twice-yearly "exercise"
of our Korean "contingency plan."

In
1994, in part because of those twice-yearly exercises, the North
Koreans threatened to withdraw from the Treaty on Non-Proliferation
of Nuclear Weapons. As a result, under considerable congressional
pressure, President Clinton ordered the development of a plan to
"take out" all North Korean nuclear facilities, using
cruise missiles, presumably carrying nuke warheads, presumably launched
from U.S. warships.

Clinton
may – or may not – have actually re-deployed U.S. nukes
to the Korean Peninsula or to U.S. warships offshore. But whether
he did or not, it was obvious to the Koreans that U.S. nukes could
be deployed to the peninsula in a matter of days or even hours after
a decision to do so.

So,
Condi, here’s the bottom line. If the six-party talks are to result
in the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, the U.S. must be
a party to the agreement and must pledge to never again deploy U.S.
nukes to the Korean Peninsula or to the waters off shore.

July
18, 2005

Physicist
James Gordon Prather [send him mail]
has served as a policy-implementing official for national security-related technical
matters in the Federal Energy Agency, the Energy Research and Development Administration,
the Department of Energy, the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Department
of the Army. Dr. Prather also served as legislative assistant for national security
affairs to U.S. Sen. Henry Bellmon, R-Okla. – ranking member of the Senate
Budget Committee and member of the Senate Energy Committee and Appropriations
Committee. Dr. Prather had earlier worked as a nuclear weapons physicist at Lawrence
Livermore National Laboratory in California and Sandia National Laboratory in
New Mexico.

Gordon
Prather Archives

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