Sunday, September 9, 2007
Bolton warned of NKorean nuclear facilities in Syria
"Former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, had warned in the past that Syria and Iran could provide what he described as a "safe haven" in their territory for nuclear facilities built with equipment smuggled from North Korea. In an article published in the Wall Street Journal on August 31, Bolton wrote that, "We know that both Iran and Syria have long cooperated with North Korea on ballistic missile programs, and the prospect of cooperation on nuclear matters is not far-fetched" Bolton claimed.
"Whether and to what extent Iran, Syria or others might be 'safe havens' for North Korea's nuclear weapons development, or may have already participated with or benefited from it, must be made clear," Bolton alleged.
North Korea is currently conducting talks with the United States and other nations regarding its nuclear program. Pyongyang is seeking the restoration of diplomatic ties with Washington and wants to be removed from the U.S. list of 'state-sponsors of terror', in exchange for agreeing to halt their nuclear weapons program and accept international supervision of their nuclear facilities. In his article in the Wall Street Journal, Bolton wrote that the U.S. may accept these demands, calling such a possibility a "profound mistake." According to Bolton, the U.S. should only be willing to accept such demands if among other things North Korea offers full disclosure on its ties with other states, predominantly Iran and Syria. On Friday, U.S. President Bush said Washington would consider signing a peace treaty with Pyongyang, should it abandon its nuclear program."