2002 September 17 Tuesday
Rumsfeld says North Korea has nuclear weapons

The only newspapers reporting this are South Korean (see here and here and here).

But, yes, Rumsfeld really said that North Korea has nuclear weapons:

Rumsfeld: Well, as you know well, the President's remarks to the United Nations and to the country did not address the subject of North Korea or Iran. He did, properly, in my view, characterize those three countries, those two plus Iraq, as the axis of evil. And I think that what's taken place since that speech has been an indication of how useful that speech was because you can clearly see stirrings in various countries, including one or more of those, taking place, and also in some of the other countries in the terrorist list. So it's been -- that speech has been a good thing.

I see distinctive differences in the three myself, as does the President. And the case against Saddam Hussein is encompassed in the President's remarks to the United Nations. He stands in violation of -- 16 times, I think the President said -- resolutions of the world community.

Iran is clearly a country that is harboring al Qaeda. It says it isn't, but it is. It is a country that is developing -- aggressively
developing nuclear capabilities and increasingly longer-range ballistic missiles and other weapons of mass destruction. It is also a country, however, that has a population that is in ferment. And there's no question in my mind but that the young people and the women in that country, particularly, as well as others, who are uncomfortable with this tight control by a small clique of clerics that they try to impose on the people of that country -- is increasingly difficult for them to do.

And I have no -- I think most of the world was dumbfounded at how quickly that country turned from the shah to the ayatollahs. I think it's possible that we could be dumbfounded someday to see it turn away from this clique of clerics, because clearly, they're not managing their affairs in a way that's in the interest of the Iranian people.

North Korea is quite a different situation. It is -- all one has to do is look at it compared to South Korea and it just wrings your heart out to see what's happening to those people. They're starving. They're being repressed. They're being treated terribly. There's large numbers in concentration camps and fleeing the country.

I don't know what's going to happen in North Korea, except that we do know that they are one of the world's worst proliferators, particularly with ballistic missile technologies. We know they're a country that has been aggressively developing nuclear weapons and has nuclear weapons. {"The IC judged in the mid-1990s that North Korea had produced one, possibly two nuclear weapons," according to the December 2001 Unclassified Summary of a National Intelligence Estimate.} And we know they're a danger first and foremost to their own people, and second, they're a threat principally because of their proliferating activities, as opposed to being a threat to South Korea.

So I see a different situation, and I think the President's approaching it properly.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2002 September 17 09:01 PM  Axis Of Evil


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