- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 3, 2003


The Bush administration, reacting to a proposal that it pay North Korea $3 billion to $5 billion yearly if it stops making missiles and nuclear weapons, said it would offer “no inducements” to the belligerent communist nation.

“We continue to insist that North Korea must terminate its nuclear-weapons program completely, verifiably and irreversibly,” Undersecretary of State John Bolton told the House International Relations Committee. “And there will be no inducements to get them to do so.”

Mr. Bolton made his remarks last month in response to the proposal by Rep. Curt Weldon, Pennsylvania Republican, who had just returned from a fact-finding trip to North Korea.

Mr. Bolton said that giving in to nuclear blackmail would only encourage similar behavior by other nuclear aspirants around the world and, therefore, North Korean efforts to pressure the United States must not bear fruit.

“We are not going to pay for the elimination of North Korea’s nuclear-weapons program — a program the North should never have begun in the first place,” said Mr. Bolton, the undersecretary of state for disarmament and international security.

“Indeed, resolution of the problem North Korea has created by its own pursuit of nuclear weapons can only come through verified elimination of its nuclear-weapons program,” he added.

Mr. Bolton urged North Korea to refrain from further “escalatory steps,” but made clear that U.S. aid might be provided to the hermit Stalinist state only after it made dramatic policy changes.

“If North Korea verifiably and irreversibly terminates its nuclear-weapons program, the United States is willing to reconsider discussing its ‘bold approach,’” he said.

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