The Syria Briefing Transcript

Arms Control Wonk just posted the full transcript from the Syria-N. Korea intel briefing to “senior U.S. officials.” This is the key passage explaining what the intelligence community concluded about the site from the available evidence: We told our President four things: This is a reactor; the North Koreans and the Syrians are cooperating on nuclear activities; the North Koreans and Syrians are cooperating on the construction of this reactor; and this reactor – its purpose – is to create fuel for a nuclear weapons program. Here’s the breakdown of evidence supporting each conclusion: . . .[T]he fact that it […]

Syria, N. Korea Nuclear Briefing

Arms Control Wonk’s got the video presentation made to the House and Senate intel committees on Syria’s Al Kabir facility. To a layman, it makes a pretty convincing, if entirely circumstantial, case for the claim that the facility was a nuclear reactor, although questions remain, which means I’ll be checking back in with the gang at ACW for further updates. Here’s what Jeffrey Lewis had to say yesterday: Assuming the provenance, interpretation and timing are all square, I would think the presumption now shifts to “it was a reactor” — which is not to say that hitting it was a […]

SEOUL, South Korea — Washington this weekend will roll out the red carpet for the newly inaugurated president of South Korea. On Saturday (April 19), Lee Myung-bak will hold his first overseas summit with President Bush. The two will meet at Camp David, about 60 miles outside of the capital in Maryland. A Korean leader has not visited the presidential retreat since 1942. And in the eyes of many figures inside the Bush administration, none is more deserving than Lee. Since taking office in February, the CEO-turned-politician has pledged to break with previous South Korean administrations and embrace the 50-plus-year […]

SEOUL, South Korea — Onlookers watch as a man tied up in ropes is led down a crowded pedestrian street by a woman holding a plastic assault rifle. Another man holding a megaphone explains that the re-enactment depicts a scene that has become an everyday occurrence in China. A multinational coalition of activists, calling themselves the 4-4-4 Campaign, holds this demonstration each weekend in downtown Seoul. In Chinese culture, the number 4 symbolizes death. Protester Nam Hyang Soo says the activists chose their name because Beijing’s refugee policy is killing North Koreans who try to escape their impoverished homeland. “The […]

Once again, the Korean Peninsula is witnessing increased tensions, and once again North Korea has initiated the crisis. Yet Pyongyang’s latest acts of hostility are little more than hollow bluster that should not distract from the ongoing international effort to dismantle its threatening nuclear capabilities. Last week, Pyongyang unleashed a barrage of criticism of the policies of the recently inaugurated president of South Korea, Lee Myung-bak. Lee is seeking to break with the policies of his predecessors, who sought accommodation and gradual engagement with the North. An editorial in North Korea’s state-run newspaper, Rodung Sinmun, called Lee an “impostor” and […]