October 11, 2008
Ros-Lehtinen Criticizes U.S. Decision to Remove North Korean Regime From List of State Sponsors of Terrorism
To: POLITICAL EDITORS
Contact: Sam Stratman of House Foreign Affairs Committee, U.S. House of Representatives, +1-202-226-7875, [email protected]
While I am not surprised by today's decision, I am profoundly disappointed. Given the regime's decision to restart its plutonium reactor at Yongbyon and actions barring access to the site by inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency, it is clear that North Korea has no intention of meeting its commitment to end its nuclear program.
North Korea should not be rewarded with removal from the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism when it continues to engage in activities that threaten critical U.S. interests, including proliferation of nuclear material, technology, and expertise to extremist regimes. We know that it provided crucial assistance to Syria's illicit nuclear program which was revealed by an Israeli air strike last year on a clandestine facility. This assistance was flowing even as the regime was assuring our negotiators that all such efforts had stopped and was demanding that it be removed from the list.
The plutonium reactor at Yongbyon is only one part of the problem. The regime's continued denial of its secret uranium program and its refusal to allow inspectors to adequately verify that claim have been central issues in the impasse.
With today's action, the Administration has given up a critical instrument of leverage. By rewarding North Korea before the regime has carried out its commitments, we are encouraging this regime to continue its illicit nuclear program and violate its pledge to no longer provide nuclear assistance to extremist regimes. We are also sending a strong message to other rogue nations, such as Iran and Syria, that we will not hold them to their commitments, even as we give in to their demands.
SOURCE House Committee on Foreign Affairs (Republican Office)
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