February 13, 2005

USE BIGGER TOOLS:

U.S. Is Shaping Plan to Pressure North Koreans (DAVID E. SANGER, 2/14/05, NY Times)

In the months before North Korea announced that it possessed nuclear weapons, the Bush administration began developing new strategies to choke off its few remaining sources of income, based on techniques in use against Al Qaeda, intelligence officials and policy makers involved in the planning say.

The initial steps are contained in a classified "tool kit" of techniques to pressure North Korea that has been refined in recent weeks by the National Security Council. The new strategies would intensify and coordinate efforts to track and freeze financial transactions that officials say enable the government of Kim Jong Il to profit from counterfeiting, drug trafficking and the sale of missile and other weapons technology.

Some officials describe the steps as building blocks for what could turn into a broader quarantine if American allies in Asia - particularly China and South Korea - can be convinced that Mr. Kim's declaration on nuclear weapons last week means he must finally be forced to choose between disarmament and even deeper isolation. China and South Korea have been reluctant to impose penalties on the North. [...]

In interviews over the past three weeks, administration officials have denied that the renewed effort is part of an unstated initiative to topple Mr. Kim.


It better be.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 13, 2005 10:51 PM
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