North Korea's Nuclear Program

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photoAs if Iraq weren't enough. Last night the Bush Administration revealed that North Korea has been secretly developing nuclear weapons over the past several years. It's an admission that puts the government of Kim Jong Il in direct violation of the 1994 non-proliferation framework brokered by the Clinton Administration, and within reach of the Bush Doctrine.

The White House waited 12 days before revealing North Korea's announcement, a delay that betrays vigorous internal debate over this serious challenge to the Bush doctrine. Does North Korea's admission push open a diplomatic door across the DMZ? Or should the Asian member of the Axis of Evil suffer the fate dictated by the Bush doctrine? A pre-emptive strike on Pyongyang? But North Korea is not Iraq. Part of the same axis of evil, but located in a very different part of the world. Seoul and Tokyo tremble at the thought of North Korean long-range missiles. A pre-emptive strike could be the prelude to a second Korean war. And is America ready to fight a two-front war?

This hour, On Point: danger north of the DMZ. The Bush Doctrine and nuclear North Korea.


David Brown, associate director of the Asian Studies department at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and author of "The Two Koreas"

Victor Cha, associate professor in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service and Department of Government at Georgetown University, and author of "Alignment Despite Antagonism: The United States-Korea-Japan Security Triangle"

Henry Sokolski, executive director of the Non-Proliferation Policy Education Center, former member of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (under Presidents Ford, Carter, and Reagan), author of "Best of Intentions: America's Campaign Against Strategic Weapons Proliferation"

This program aired on October 17, 2002.


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