Powell, Rice: Iraq, North Korea 'Not Identical Situations'
By Kathleen T. Rhem
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Oct. 21, 2002 American concerns about Iraq and North Korea are "quite different" and will be dealt with individually, two senior Bush administration officials said Oct. 20.
Officials announced last week that North Korea has admitted to developing nuclear weapons, a direct violation of at least four international agreements and treaties. Iraq has been flouting international sanctions and agreements for more than a decade.
National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice warned against "cookie cutter foreign policy" on the CBS news program "Face the Nation." She said it would be a mistake to assume the circumstances surrounding the two rogue nations should be treated the same by the international community.
"The cases are both very dangerous, and we're concerned about both," she said.
She detailed how Iraq has thrown out U.N. weapons inspectors, invaded neighboring countries, and used weapons of mass destruction against its own people. "Iraq is in a class by itself," Rice said.
The difference in the two countries' economic situations means diplomacy still has a chance in North Korea, she said. Iraq's Saddam Hussein has oil revenues to bankroll his programs, while North Korea is in dire financial straits.
North Korea's economic situation can be used as a "lever" to achieve concessions from that country, Secretary of State Colin Powell said on NBC's "Meet the Press."
"(North Korea) is a lot stronger militarily," he said, "but it is sitting on a very rotten base with respect to its economy."
Powell described North Korea as a "starving country with a broken economy, a broken society." He said the United States would be working with the international community to put "maximum pressure on North Korea to make the point to them that this is totally inconsistent with trying to improve the lives of (the North Korean) people."
Powell also spoke on Iraq, saying the Bush administration is more concerned about disarmament than the demise of Saddam Hussein's regime.
"All we are interested in is getting rid of those weapons of mass destruction," he said. "We think the Iraqi people would be a lot better off with a different leader, but the principal offense here (is the threat of) weapons of mass destruction."
Powell said he is confident the U.N. Security Council will consider a resolution on action against Iraq by "early this week."
He said the resolution must document three things: that Hussein has been in violation of previous U.N. resolutions for many years, that he must allow U.N. weapons inspectors in "a strong new inspection regime" and that there will be consequences if Hussein doesn't comply.
Any U.N. resolution must not hinder the United States' right to act with other like-minded nations if Hussein makes it clear he is not going to cooperate, Powell said.
Powell also explained the current status of the so-called Agreed Framework of 1994, in which North Korea promised the United States it would not develop nuclear weapons.
North Korean representatives said the agreement was nullified when they admitted to developing such weapons, Powell said. "When you have an agreement and one says it's nullified, it looks like it's nullified," he said on the ABC news program "This Week with George Stephanopoulos."
He said the matter is one for "multilateral consideration." U.S. officials will be discussing the issue with leaders of other countries in the region, he said.