NUCLEAR WEAPONS AND NORTH KOREA, IRAQ, AND IRAN -- HON. TOM DELAY (Extension of Remarks - October 09, 1998)
HON. TOM DELAY
in the House of Representatives
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 8, 1998
- Mr. DeLAY. Mr. Speaker, over the last year or so I have been appalled at this administration's foreign policy--or more accurately its lack of a foreign policy--with respect to North Korea, Iran, and Iraq. I am also joining with Congressmen Saxton, Salmon, and others today in introducing another resolution concerning the Administration's policies regarding Israel.
- Since agreeing to help find the financing and necessary technology to build two nuclear reactors for North Korea in 1994, the Clinton administration has done everything it can to give Americans the impression that its diplomatic efforts have `frozen and stopped' North Korea's efforts to develop a nuclear arsenal. However, Newsweek reported last week that when Secretary of State Albright testified to that effect before a classified Congressional briefing 2 month ago she was quickly refuted by the Defense Intelligence Agency. The DIA testified that it had concluded months earlier that the North Korean program to develop nuclear weapons was and is still under way.
- Subsequent intelligence and press reports continue to bear out the fact that the administration's policy of appeasement has not dissuaded the North Korean drive to develop nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them. For instance, the North Korean's have an ongoing effort to bury their nuclear weapons program underground. Their launch on August 31, 1998, of a three-stage ballistic missile--parts of which landed off the coast of Alaska--make such a conclusion undeniable. The Central Intelligence Agency's senior intelligence officer for strategic programs was recently quoted by Washington Post as saying that the three stage configuration of that missile could well give North Korea the ability to send warheads across the Pacific.
- To counter the misimpression that has often been given the American people on this issue, I am introducing a resolution that calls for the suspension of the $4-6 billion agreement to build two light-water nuclear reactors and to provide other assistance to North Korea until the President certifies that the North Korean government has agreed to cease its efforts to build nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them.
- Mr. Speaker, the administration has also been pursuing a failed and misleading foreign policy with regard to Iraq. Earlier this year, President Clinton warned that if Iraq were to break the weapons inspection agreement signed with U.N. Chief Kofi Annan and the international community failed to act, then Saddam Hussein `will conclude that the international community has lost its will. He will then conclude that he can go right on and do more to rebuild an arsenal of devastating destruction. And some day, some way, I guarantee you he'll use the arsenal.' United States Secretary of State Madeleine Albright also stated at the time that if Hussein `reneges on this deal, there will be no question that force is the only way to go.'
- Of course, the American public now knows the truth. Scott Ritter, a UNSCOM inspector team leader in Iraq, recently resigned from his post because of what he termed `interference and manipulation usually coming from the highest levels of the [Clinton]
- administration's national security team,' including Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. That interference undermined UNSCOM's ability to inspect potential weapon sites in Iraq even as the administration was telling the world that it supported the U.N. inspectors' right to unfettered and unannounced access to Saddam Hussein's suspected weapons programs.
- During his recent testimony before Congress, Mr. Ritter stated that such public statements of support in conjunction with the secret interference from the United States and the United Kingdom gives the appearance that UNSCOM is conducting unhindered weapons inspection checks when in fact such inspections are not occurring. Mr. Ritter's warning to Congress that it would take Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein only 6 months to reconstitute his chemical weapons capability and the ballistic missiles to deliver them--and his subsequent statement to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy that Iraq has three `technologically complete' nuclear bombs that only lack the missile material to make them operational--is sobering to most Americans. The administration's reaction to these brave revelations has been to attack Mr. Ritter's credibility, reputation, and professionalism.
- The administration instead should be acting to bring Saddam Hussein into compliance with the numerous agreements he has made as a result of the Persian Gulf war. To that end, I am introducing a resolution that calls on the President to take the necessary steps to bring Iraq into compliance with the international agreements it has signed with respect to its weapons program, including the United Nation's right to unfettered and unannounced inspections of suspected weapons sites or facilities. The resolution also states that official U.S. policy should insist on the removal or destruction of Saddam Hussein's chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons capability. Most importantly, for the sake of the United States foreign policy credibility, the resolution calls on the President not to renege on the warnings he issued this past spring that the United States is committed to using military force if necessary to punish Iraq for interfering with or obstructing the U.N.'s weapons inspections.
- Finally, Mr. Speaker, in the face of intelligence estimates earlier this year that Iran will have a missile capable of targeting Israel within a year and Central Europe within 3 years, President Clinton vetoed the Iran Missile Sanctions Act. The President's continued refusal to use existing law to its full extent to impose sanctions against countries and organizations that help Iran develop and modernize its ballistic missile program is yet another failure on the part of this Administration. While failing to obstruct the on-going ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs in Iran, North Korea, Iraq and other nations, this administration has not been bashful in obstructing the efforts of many of us in Congress to build a defense for the United States against ballistic missile attacks by our potential enemies.
- The third resolution I am introducing calls on the President to impose sanctions against countries and organizations that assist Iran in obtaining advanced missile technology to the fullest extent permitted under existing law. The resolution also calls on the President to expedite the development of U.S. anti-missile defense systems and to assist Israel in responding to the new long-range ballistic missile threat from Iran in order to protect all of Israel's territory.
- Mr. Speaker, this administration's continued failure in foreign policy arenas affecting the national security of the United States must cease before our Nation's credibility and determination to defend our interests is irreparably compromised. It is foolhardy to issue threats and then fail to carry through on them as this administration has done time and time again. While it may play well in the short term, it has real world consequences as our potential enemies gradually lose respect for our resolve and our might. I urge my colleagues to support the resolutions which I intend to reintroduce in the next Congress as well.