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Lugar Statement on North Korea

U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Dick Lugar made the following statement regarding North Korea today.

North Korea’s revelations regarding continued development of its nuclear program come as no surprise. 

Ongoing work is underway to expand its weapons of mass destruction (WMD) capabilities on the chemical and biological fronts as well.  With a trading network operating in scores of countries, and a supporting cast in Burma, Cuba, Venezuela, Syria, and individuals in other areas, North Korea has signaled its capability and intent to inflict great harm around the globe.

As the departing leader of North Korea, Chairman Kim Jong-Il can correctly claim that his country is a sovereign state. However, his withdrawal from the NPT and his unwillingness to allow international inspectors unfettered access throughout North Korea speaks of other intentions and will impair North Korea’s ability to be accepted by the world community and experience the benefits of multilateral development assistance--a legacy he is bestowing upon his son.

While North Korean leaders view their revelations to the Hecker Delegation as the warm-up act to bring the Obama Administration to their center stage, the White House once and for all should place major focus on China--whose support, and acquiescence to North Korean WMD activities have been emboldened.