N. Korean containment is right answer for Iraq, too

Wednesday, February 26, 2003 at 12:00am

In London, Berlin, Paris, New York and Melbourne, over 2 million people marched in protest. At the United Nations, over 50 countries spoke out against an invasion of Iraq. But in the end it won't make any difference.

No matter how many millions protest, and no matter what the United Nations decides, President Bush is going to war. But is it the right war?

There is growing evidence the president has the wrong target in the crosshairs. Yes, there is a madman with nuclear weapons who poses an imminent threat to the United States, but it's not Saddam Hussein of Iraq. It's Kim Jong Il of North Korea.

We know North Korea has at least two nuclear weapons and has begun building more. Iraq has none. We know North Korea has a missile capable of delivering a nuclear bomb to the West Coast of the United States. Iraq has none. We know North Korea expelled its U.N. weapons inspectors. Iraq invited them back in.

And now the latest, as reported by Bill Gertz in The Washington Times: The same ship intercepted, last December, carrying Scud missiles from North Korea to Yemen was recently discovered with a much more deadly cargo. U.S. intelligence officials spotted the Sosan as it arrived in North Korea earlier this month from Germany, carrying a shipment of sodium cyanide, a chemical compound that can be used for making nerve gas.

Sodium cyanide is actually a dual-use chemical, used to make the nerve gas sarin or in the manufacture of pesticides or plastics. As such, it is controlled by the 34-nation Australia Group, whose members agreed not to sell the compound to untrustworthy, hostile nations like North Korea. Germany obviously violated that agreement.

But the implication of the delivery is ominous. It means that North Korea not only has an active nuclear weapons program, but is producing, or already has, an arsenal of biological and chemical weapons as well. And there is no reason to trust them to reserve those weapons for defensive purposes. North Korean President Kim Jong Il

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