I heard the rumor yesterday afternoon, but now I see the AP is reporting it. According to the Financial Times, the only thing holding up the announcement is notifying / strong-arming the Japanese, and perhaps the South Koreans. You can see
Condi and her mouthpiece not answer questions about this below the fold, if you’re interested.
OFK hadn't caught any details about what the Stalinists had to do on their end; he just assumed it wouldn't be nearly enough - and the Washington Post confirmed his fears this morning:
A Japanese news report yesterday -- and sources who have been briefed on the discussions -- said the United States might be prepared accept a partial verification plan that focused first on North Korea's plutonium program at Yongbyon, leaving until later questions about its alleged uranium enrichment program or its proliferation activities.
In other words, the Stalinist don't have to say anything about uranium and their nuclear aid to Syria (among others) until some point down the road - at which point they can play this lovely little game again on the next bunch of saps in the White House.
The substance of the "agreement" was bad enough itself. Ironically enough, the circumstances - coming after the Stalinists ratcheted things up (BBC) - may finally blow away the air freshener Washington has sprayed on this for years, and leave the stench of surrender unchallenged. Then the outrage may finally move beyond policy wonks like yours truly and Stephen Hayes of the Weekly Standard.
While nearly everyone will acknowledge this as a huge victory for the Korean tyranny, far fewer will recognize the benefits for its colonial masters in Beijing. Once again, the Chinese Communist Party will be praised for shepherding its "ally" to the table instead of condemned for helping Kim Jong-il imprison tens of millions of Koreans (Forbes via OFK). Meanwhile, the continuing drip, drip, drip of the melamine scandal (Boycott 2008 and Epoch Times), continuing corruption (Boycott 2008 and Epoch Times), and the reverberating effects of the "one child" nightmare (Epoch Times) were all washed away.
Still, as bad as this is, it can't be repeated, right? Wrong.
There is another Communist Chinese ally who is rapidly working to become a nuclear-armed regime: the mullahcracy of Iran. They, too, have largely thumbed their nose at the rest of the world. They, too, have seen little if any consequences for their actions. They have certainly been watching their fellow Beijing-backed-regime (and arms business partner) game the United States so successfully. What's to stop them from doing it themselves?
The most ignominious surrender actually began last year, after the Korean colony conducted its nuclear test. Look for the mullahs to expect the same thing after their nuclear test, which I'm still guessing will come on (or perhaps about) May 31, 2009.