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William Perry: ‘How To Make a Deal With North Korea’

April 17, 2017 (EIRNS)—In an April 15 article in Politico, William Perry, former Defense Secretary under President Bill Clinton, puts forth the argument that the current crisis in the Korean Peninsula, while at an extremely dangerous point, is perhaps the best moment for a solution. He argues that the successful agreement in 1994 (the General Framework) for the North to stop their nuclear weapons program and shut down their plutoniun-producing nuclear plant in exchange for a non-plutonium producing nuclear plant, worked very well until President George W. Bush and his Vice President Dick Cheney came in and sabotaged it. The result: the North proceeded to build nuclear weapons, and now have between 10-20.

But, Perry writes,

"The danger is not, as some believe, that North Korea will make good on its bluster and actually launch a surprise nuclear attack. The North Korean leadership, while it is evil and sometimes reckless, is not crazy or suicidal.... It knows that if it launches a nuclear attack, the American response would bring death to the leadership and devastation to its country."

But, the North now worries that Trump will actually attack, just as the Clinton Administration was seriously considering attacked the nuclear facility in North Korea. Therefore, he says, it is urgent that Trump make the same offer Perry and Clinton were offering to go beyond the General Framework: establish normal relations with the North, giving up "regime change" and threats of military action, in exchange for ending the nuclear weapons program. The fact that China is in general agreement is another factor for moving now (and, he should have added, with Russia as well).

He concludes: "The big question is: Do we have the sense to seize this chance? After all, it could be the last one we have."