As Iran Nuclear Deadline Looms, Royce and McKeon Offer Reminder of Agreed Framework on North Korea 20 Years Ago Today

Oct 21, 2014

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and U.S. Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (R-CA), Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, issued the following joint statement on the 20th anniversary of the Agreed Framework on North Korea’s Nuclear Program: 

“Twenty years ago, the Clinton Administration’s nuclear negotiator signed the Agreed Framework on North Korea’s Nuclear program.  Having promised North Korea two large, modern nuclear generating plants estimated to be worth more than $4 billion, and provided Pyongyang with substantial fuel supplies, in return the U.S. received a series of broken commitments from the Kim regime.  Since the 1994 agreement, Pyongyang has detonated three nuclear devices; secretly developed a parallel bomb program (based on enriched uranium); tested its ballistic missiles, including those capable of reaching the United States; proliferated its missile and nuclear technology to the highest bidder; and engaged in two decades of aggression against its neighbors, and mass atrocities against the people of North Korea.  In 2007, the U.S. lifted effective financial sanctions in hopes of a renewed deal.  The last twenty years of U.S. policy toward North Korea has been a failure under Administrations of both parties.

“The historic failure of this agreement casts a looming shadow over nuclear negotiations with Iran and should be a lesson to our negotiators today.  North Korea’s nuclear weapons infrastructure was never effectively dismantled: a mistake that cannot be repeated with Tehran—a state sponsor of terrorism aspiring to dominate the region.  Indeed, the Obama Administration has already conceded that Iran will be permitted to have an enrichment program – the key bomb technology.  By naively entering into a bad deal with Iran in the tradition of the Agreed Framework, the Administration may unwittingly be setting the stage for a cascade of proliferation across the combustible Middle East, with grave national security implications for us and our allies.”  

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