Flashback:
President Clinton on North Korea

'North Korea will freeze and then dismantle its nuclear program...The entire world will be safer as we slow the spread of nuclear weapons.'

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Mordechai Sones,

Clinton and North Korea's leader Kim Jong-il in Pyongyang August 4, 2009
Clinton and North Korea's leader Kim Jong-il in Pyongyang August 4, 2009
Reuters

"Before I take your questions, I'd like to say just a word about the framework with North Korea that Ambassador Delucci signed this morning. This is a good deal for the United States. North Korea will freeze and then dismantle its nuclear program. South Korea and our other allies will be better protected. The entire world will be safer as we slow the spread of nuclear weapons."

In 1994, North Korea blocked international inspectors from verifying the regime's adherence to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. The Clinton administration believed that the North Koreans were processing plutonium from a reactor to build two atomic bombs, reported The National Interest.

President Clinton was later quoted as saying that “I was determined to prevent North Korea from developing a nuclear arsenal, even at the risk of war.”

Richard Perle, then chairman of the Defense Policy Board, a civilian Pentagon advisory group, was highly critical of the Clinton administration's approach to North Korea; in a 2003 interview, he equated the 1994 Framework Agreement to which Clinton refers in the above video as extortion: "The basic structure of the relationship implied in the Framework Agreement," he said, "is a relationship between a blackmailer and one who pays a blackmailer."

Addressing Clinton during the interview Perle said, "You called the Agreed Framework a bad deal. The St. Petersburg Times quotes you as saying in December 1993, 'We're being jerked around by North Korea, and we're appeasing them through feckless diplomacy.' What did you mean?

"It is the policy of the government of North Korea, in my judgment, to use its capacity to do harm to elicit support from those who might be harmed by actions they would agree not to take. That's blackmail, and it's going to continue. The shape of it, the timing of it, the form of it will change; but the basic structure of the relationship, implied in the Framework Agreement, is a relationship between a blackmailer and one who pays a blackmailer," said Perle.