I am having technical trouble with this post. The whole thing is cross posted at Danger Room.
Well, after American negotiators Chris Hill and Joe DeTrani admitted that earlier estimates of the North Korean nuclear program were exaggerated, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence is trying to put the toothpaste back in the tube.
Yeah, good luck with that.
ODNI released a statement by North Korea Mission Manager Joseph DeTrani stating that “The Intelligence Community had then, and continues to have, high confidence in its assessment that North Korea has pursued” a “uranium enrichment capability.”
OK, sure. Unfortunately, that has exactly nothing to do with the today’s controversy. From the late 1990s, the US intelligence community had suspected North Korea of “efforts to acquire a uranium enrichment capability.” So that wasn’t the issue. It was how big those efforts were that mattered—ultimately in leading the Bush Administration to pull out of talks in 2002. In other words, Pyongyang’s cheating on its previous nuclear deals wasn’t all that important; the size of the cheating was.