December 17, 2002
In the past week, North Korea has attempted to create a crisis on the Korean Peninsula by threatening to restart its frozen nuclear reactor while demanding that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) remove monitoring devices aimed at ensuring that the reactor operates in accordance with Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) safeguard procedures. Conventional wisdom is that Pyongyang is creating a fuss in order to force the Bush administration into new negotiations. This may, in fact, be true. But I doubt that this is the only, or perhaps even the primary, reason.