The Senate continued with the consideration of the bill.
Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to modify my amendment, and the modification is at the desk.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. The Senator's amendment is so modified.
The amendment, as further modified, is as follows:
On page 33, line 4, before the colon insert the following: `; and (4) North Korea is not actively pursuing the acquisition or development of a nuclear capability (other than the light-water reactors provided for by the 1994 Agreed Framework Between the United States and North Korea).
Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, the modification, by the way, takes out the provision, at the request of the administration and others, that requires that the North Koreans be fully meeting their obligations under the treaty on the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons. I did that with some reluctance, but, at the same time, the important aspect of this amendment is that the President must certify that North Korea is not actively pursuing the acquisition or development of nuclear capability, other than light-water reactors provided for in the 1994 Agreed Framework between the United States and North Korea.
I think it is the desire of the distinguished manager that we vote on this amendment. First of all, I ask, if it has not taken place, that the Hutchison second-degree amendment be voice voted at this time.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on agreeing to the Hutchison amendment.
Mr. McCONNELL. If the Senator from Arizona will withhold for just a moment.
Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I will make some additional remarks which are so compelling, and as soon as the Senator from Kentucky desires, I will yield so that we can proceed with this vote. I know the Senator from Kentucky is very interested in concluding this legislation, as are the rest of us. Given the conditions in the world today, I argue this is one of the most important pieces of legislation that we will consider in the Senate.
Yesterday there was an article in the New York Times, parts of which I think are important to note.
It is titled `Missile Test By North Korea: Dark Omen for Washington.' Part of the article says:
The officials and arms experts said the test also suggested that North Korea had made real progress towards building Taepodong-2, which is reportedly capable of traveling 2,400 to 3,600 miles and could strike targets throughout Asia and as far away as Alaska.
Henry D. Sokolski, the executive director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center in Washington, said the ability to build rockets in stages opened the door to intercontinental missiles, which in theory have virtually unlimited range.
`We're entering a new era,' Mr. Sokolski said.
Gary Milhollin, director of the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control, another research organization in Washington, said the missile test was `a clear sign' of North Korea's intent to develop nuclear weapons, despite its 1994 agreement with the United States to stop in exchange for energy assistance.
Mr. Milhollin said a two-stage missile was too costly to build simply for delivering conventional weapons. `It means they plan to put a nuclear warhead on it or export it to somebody who will,' he said. `The missile makes no sense otherwise.'
Mr. President, these are important statements. Some argue that perhaps the North Koreans are just simply building a missile and they are not pursuing the acquisition of nuclear weapons.
As Mr. Milhollin said, it doesn't make sense. Why else would they be building a two-stage rocket without planning also to have that missile armed with a weapon of mass destruction?--from what we have seen in the past, most likely a nuclear weapon.
I don't want to go through the litany of my complaints about this agreement that was made with North Korea in 1994. I spoke at length on the floor of the Senate and with the media. I did not see any indication that the North Koreans were serious. I did see indications they were in violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty to which they were signatories and that we were basically providing them with a bribe. I also believed and still believe that unless the North Koreans understand they have to pay a significant price, then they will continue in this most destabilizing activity.
The Florida Times Union on August 28 said:
An argument could be made that Pyongyang feels it must renew its nuclear program to keep people warm, but it also claims it cannot feed its people and has been begging successfully for free rice. If it doesn't have enough money to feed its people, how can it have enough money to build expensive nuclear facilities and two-stage rockets? Pyongyang presumably is taking money that would have been spent on food and heat if not for western charity in building a nuclear arsenal.
Unfortunately, the administration made it easy for Pyongyang to cheat. The agreement does not require inspections to verify North Korean compliance. Oddly enough, Pyongyang threatened earlier this month to pull out of the agreement over the U.S. failure to lift economic sanctions quickly enough. It has also complained about the lack of progress toward diplomatic ties. Those sound more like excuses to me for cheating on an agreement rather than reasons to break it. Not once since its inception in the aftermath of World War II has North Korea proven itself trustworthy. That makes it difficult for the United States to continue making agreements based purely on trust.
Mr. Hoagland, probably one of the most respected, if not the most respected, individual commentators on the issues of national security, said:
The U.S.-negotiated agreement that froze North Korea's nuclear weapons development in 1994 is coming apart.
With their economy in trouble, South Korea and Japan have been having second thoughts about the high levels of economic aid the deal mandates, and Congress has always been unhappy about the fuel oil shipments the administration agreed to make without congressional consultation. These concerns were undermining the accord even before the discovery this month that North Korea has been working on an underground secret facility that almost certainly violates the accord.
That discovery could be the nail in the coffin of the agreement, which pulled North Korea and the United States back from a military confrontation that could soon resume.
Mr. President, Mr. Charles Krauthammer, a man whom I have great respect for, also wrote on August 30:
Consider North Korea. In 1994, it broke the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and embarked on nuke building. How did Clinton react? By agreeing to supply North Korea indefinitely with free oil while the United States and allies build for it two brand new (ostensibly safer) $5 billion nuclear reactors in return for a promise to freeze its weapon program.
Now it turns out that while taking this gigantic bribe North Korea was building a huge new nuclear facility inside a mountain. The administration, inert and dismayed by such ungentle manliness, refuses to call this a violation of the agreement. Why? Because concrete has not been poured.
Today the Los Angeles Times editorial reads, `Time to Rethink North Korea Policy':
If ever there was a time for Washington to reappraise its policy toward North Korea, it is now. In the midst of meetings between American and North Korean negotiators in New York, the Pyongyang regime fired a new, longer-range missile across the Sea of Japan and over the Japanese mainland. That provocative act constitutes a major setback in diplomatic efforts to draw hostile North Korea into the world community.
The missile was discussed at Monday's meeting in New York, which focused on implementation of a 1994 accord under which the United States, South Korea, Japan and the European Union would help North Korea build two nuclear power reactors of no military use in exchange for a freeze on nuclear weapons development. U.S. representatives did not say Monday what, if any, explanation was given by Pyongyang. On Tuesday, North Korea declined to meet.
* * * * *
U.S officials, curiously, said they were not surprised by the test and had warned of it in advance. Military analysts pointed to the range capability that North Korea has now shown and said that chemical, biological and even nuclear warheads could be put on such a missile. The test came only a few weeks after U.S. intelligence satellites uncovered activity at a huge, supposedly shuttled nuclear facility.
Perhaps Pyongyang fired the missile as a ploy to get Washington to fully deliver on its pledge to provide 500,000 tons of fuel oil this year as part of the reactor deal. If so, the tactic has backfired. Members of Congress who had balked at paying for the fuel now are irate.
North Korea may have also been advertising its missile to other renegade nations. Military sales are one of the few money-making ventures left for the impoverished country, which has been warning that it may have to restart its nuclear weapons program. The episode smacks of blackmail, not diplomacy. All the more reason for the Clinton administration to reconsider its long, patient persuasion of Pyongyang.
Mr. President, on July 8, 1998, Secretary of State Albright said:
Regional security is another matter on which dialogue with Beijing has enhanced cooperation and fostered progress. For example, the People's Republic of China has consistently supported the Agreed Framework that has frozen North Korea's dangerous nuclear weapons program, and has urged the North to continue complying with it.
Secretary Albright said, on March 4, 1998:
Our request this year includes $35 million for the Korean Energy Development Organization. The Agreed Framework has succeeded in freezing North Korea's dangerous nuclear program. Now it has begun that program one step at a time--having secured over 90% of the program's spent fuel, which represents several bombs' worth of weapons-grade plutonium after reprocessing.
Secretary Albright, on February 10, 1998:
We believe our FY99 budget request for $35 million for KEDO is both necessary and justified to maintain U.S. leadership within KEDO, ensure that KEDO continues to fulfill its important mission, and secure continued DPRK compliance with its nonproliferation obligations under the U.S. DPRK Agreed Framework.
She said, on February 12, 1997:
Let me just say this is obviously a very complex subject, but I believe that the framework agreement is one of the best things that the administration has done because it stopped a nuclear weapons program in North Korea.
Mr. President, the Wall Street Journal on Friday, August 21, said North Korea's nukes--
In essence, what was signed in 1994 was an arms-control agreement that suffered from the central flaws common to all such efforts: Even when verification is possible--and in this case it was specifically excluded--there is no way to enforce compliance. More to the point, there is no will to enforce it. So much effort and face and prestige goes into getting these deals signed that when something goes wrong, nobody wants to admit it.
* * * * * *
North Korea is different only because Pyongyang openly conducts foreign policy through blackmail. Earlier this year, it threatened to resume its nuclear weapons program and declared it would keep selling missiles to clients like Iran and Iraq unless the U.S. lifted economic sanctions. It also has demanded more fuel oil and more food for its hungry population. A group of U.S. Congressmen in North Korea for a whirlwind official famine tour this week came away convinced that millions are near starvation and hundreds of thousands of others have already died of hunger. As terrible as this is, it is all the more horrifying when you consider that the Stalinist regime is spending what little money it does have building long-range missiles that will be able to hit the United States, according to a commission appointed by the U.S. Congress. Or on that giant new underground complex where nuclear weapons production was `frozen' in 1994.
It may turn out that the complex is not a nuclear-weapons plant after all. Even so, the administration's timely retaliation in Afghanistan and the Sudan will have two beneficial effects. It will signal the North Koreans that America's patience is not unlimited, and that consequently they may wish to rethink their current strategy of trying to blackmail the U.S. into coughing up more aid by playing the nuclear card.
Mr. President, the fact is that no one understands North Korea. No one understands what goes on inside that Orwellian country. And it is impossible to predict what the thinking is that would cause them to have a delegation in New York supposedly in serious negotiations and at the same time launch this two-stage missile. I cannot imagine the reaction of the American people if a foreign country launched a missile one stage of which hit on one side of Florida and the other one hit on the other side of Florida.
Mr. President, I think the American people would be incredulous and greatly disturbed over such an event. Well, that is what the North Koreans just did vis-a-vis Japan, a country that had pledged to provide the bulk of several billion dollars worth of construction of a nuclear powerplant.
This is a serious situation. Obviously, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them is one of the greatest challenges we face in this post-cold war era. We have to bring this threat to a halt. I hope that the administration, as the Los Angeles Times recommends, rethinks the North Korean policy. In the meantime, we cannot continue to fund any program that would provide any encouragement as well as financial assistance to a country that clearly has time after time after time broken its word and has committed acts of provocation and aggression.
Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum. But, Mr. President, before I do that, I want to say that I would like to move this amendment as soon as possible, and hope that we can do so. I yield the floor.
Mr. DODD. Mr. President, if my colleague will yield, I have an amendment I would like to offer. If my colleague from Arizona has completed his debate on this, I would ask----
Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, will the Senator yield? I am told by staff here that they would prefer to wait until the manager of the bill comes to the floor before that permission be granted. So I suggest the absence of a quorum.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I defer to the managers to make a proper motion to temporarily set aside the McCain amendment for the purposes of offering and debating at this point my amendment.
Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, we have an understanding with the distinguished Senator from Connecticut that at whatever point the two democratic Senators who are requesting an opportunity to be heard on the McCain amendment arrive on the Senate floor, we can go back to the McCain amendment and dispose of that. With that understanding with the distinguished Senator from Connecticut, I have no objection to temporarily laying aside the McCain amendment.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
The Senator from Connecticut is recognized.
Mr. DODD. I inform my colleagues I know there are other Members who want to be heard on this amendment, and I certainly would not ask for a vote on this amendment until other Members have had a chance to be on it. Specifically, my colleague from Alabama, Senator Shelby, and possibly others, will speak in opposition, I am told, to this amendment. I will not make an attempt to have the amendment disposed of until they have had an opportunity to be heard.......
Mr. THOMAS addressed the Chair.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Wyoming is recognized.
Mr. THOMAS. Mr. President, I rise to address briefly the McCain amendment on S. 2334. I will talk a little bit about the situation in North Korea and the bill relating to the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization, KEDO. I have been chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia for almost 4 years, and we have held five hearings on North Korea during that time--more than any other single country, with the exception of China. In all of that time, I have continued to be amazed at and concerned by the dangerous, unpredictable and unbalanced nature of the regime in North Korea. Despite widespread starvation and disease, the Government continues to adhere to the very economic policies which have led to famine in the first place. Despite the worldwide reputation of communism, the Government continues to revolve around sort of a Stalinist cult of personality slavishly devoted to Kim Jong Il.
Despite international norms and conventions, the North Koreans continue to sell nuclear and conventional missile technology to such rogue states as Iraq and Libya in violation of the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty. Despite the terms of the Agreed Nuclear Framework with the United States, North Korea continues to develop its program aimed at producing nuclear missiles.
Mr. President, I have been sort of a begrudging supporter of the Agreed Framework since its inception. Although the agreement is far from perfect, I supported it because I believed that, in the end, it was in our best interest and in the best interest of the East Asia region to do so. I supported it through its fits and starts. I supported it when the North diverted oil deliveries to military use and when the North showed signs of restarting their nuclear program. I supported it because, on the whole, North Korean movement forward in the Four-Party Talks and cooperation in the nuclear area outweighed the North's traditional tendency to always push the envelope with us.
Mr. President, when North Korea fired off a missile last week over Japanese air space, it was kind of the straw that broke the camel's back. This is what I consider to be a clearly belligerent act and should drive home the fact to this body that
the Agreed Framework has been gutted by North Korea. At present, it seems no better than the paper on which it was written. Time after time, the DPRK has broken its commitment under the agreement. While the North took our oil and dragged its heels, it has constructed underground facilities to test both propulsion and warhead systems with only one purpose: the development of long- and short-range nuclear weapon capabilities.
Frankly, I have a sinking feeling that they have used us, played us for a fool, and have played it very well. Mr. President, I intend to meet with the Defense Intelligence Agency this week, and to hold a hearing next week in our subcommittee to examine the present situation and to ask the State Department and Defense Department some tough questions.
If these questions can't be answered to our satisfaction, and if we can't be convinced that adherence to the Agreed Framework under the circumstances are in our best interests, then our support, I am sure, will evaporate very quickly.
I am pleased that we are considering it here. I am supportive of the McCain amendment. I look forward to having a chance to vote on it.
I yield the floor.
Mr. McCONNELL addressed the Chair.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Kentucky.
Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, the Senator from Arizona offered his amendment yesterday afternoon at 4 o'clock. We are trying to make progress on the bill.
I understand there is one person who desires to speak on the other side.
In fairness to everyone, with the concurrence of the Senator from Arizona, if we can't bring this to conclusion, I am going to make a motion to table the McCain amendment at 3 o'clock so that we can get an expression of opinion on the amendment of the distinguished Senator from Arizona.
In the meantime, Mr. President, I think we have some amendments that have been cleared on both sides which I will shortly send to the desk: a Brownback amendment on Iran; DeWine amendment on alternative crop development; three Craig amendments; a Reed-Reid amendment on scholarships; and a DeWine amendment on Haiti.................
Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I heard the distinguish Senator from Kentucky say--and I know we have word of those who wish to speak. The Senator from Kentucky and I have been on the floor, as have other Senators, since early yesterday morning on this bill. We are within sight of land, and we would kind of like to get some things moving.
If people have a matter they wish to add to the debate, or a matter that they wish to say, or things that they feel the Senate should consider for this side of the aisle, I would strongly urge them to come to do that, because there will be the effort of the chairman and myself to wrap this bill up as soon as we can.
Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I say to my friend from Vermont that as far as we are aware there are only three more amendments that may require a rollcall vote, and then we would be ready to go to final passage. So we can, indeed, see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, while waiting for others, I note with regard to the North Korea McCain amendment that I stand behind no Member of this body in my respect for my friend from Arizona, and certainly I know no one who has followed the situation in North Korea closer than he has. I give him a great deal of weight for his insight. I understand his concerns. I share them. I suspect that most Senators do, especially as we watched the unbelievably irresponsible activity on the part of North Korea in their recent missile firing.
Unfortunately, this amendment would prevent the United States from fulfilling its obligations under the Korea nuclear reactor agreement. Maybe the Congress will make that decision to do that. Of course the Congress can. But I hope that Senators would think long and hard before we go down that road. This North Korea agreement is not perfect. There is no disagreement about that on this side of the aisle. There is also no disagreement about the behavior of the North Korean Government. It is reprehensible. At times it seems inexplicable. It is certainly the most irresponsible activity of any country on Earth today. They almost seem to want the United States to back out of this agreement.
But I think the questions we should ask, if I could have the attention of my friend from Arizona, would be just these:
Does the Secretary of Defense support this amendment? Does the commander of our forces in Korea support the amendment? What do they think the level of danger between the United States and North Korea will be with this amendment?
I ask this because I share the frustration of the Senator from Arizona toward North Korea.
Mr. McCAIN. First of all, I appreciate the efforts of the distinguished Chairman of the subcommittee who mentioned he has had five hearings on this issue. We obviously paid close attention to the Senator from Wyoming who now feels that the time has come to support this amendment. I believe that the commander of the forces in Korea, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State, probably the national security adviser, and even the President, if he knows about the amendment, is probably in opposition.
I want to tell the Senator from Vermont this agreement was flawed from the beginning. I stood on the floor of the Senate
and said it would fail. It was a bribe. It was kicking the can down the road. There was no inspections required. The reality is that North Korea, which is the most Orwellian, bizarre government in history, they have a ruler who is--well, he likes to kidnap Japanese movie actresses. We are supposed to trust the word of these people? And they just launched a missile--a two-stage missile--which every arms control expert in America will tell you that you don't build these kind of missiles unless they are armed with weapons of mass destruction.
This thing was wrong from the start, and everything that we have seen has proven that to be the case, including every major newspaper in America--the L.A. Times, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and, frankly, the former national security adviser, Mr. Brzezinski, and many others; Dr. Kissinger, and many others.
For each expert that the Senator from Vermont could present, I could give you one who is as well regarded, or more highly regarded, who feels that it is time that we at least demand that they stop building nuclear weapons.
I reply to the Senator from Vermont. The amendment simply says that we won't continue to pay them millions of dollars if they in return continue to try to build nuclear weapons, which is what the whole agreement was about, supposedly, to start with.
I thank the Senator from Vermont.
Mr. LEAHY. I thank the Senator for his answer, which is precisely what I anticipated. I am not suggesting experts are in opposition. I merely wanted, for purposes of debate, to have that.
He speaks of these Orwellian, bizarre people. I suspect it is giving the North Korean leadership the benefit of the doubt to call them Orwellian and bizarre. They are worse than that. We can't ignore what has happened there. But we are not dealing with rationale people.
Had I been the one to write the agreement we have with them, I would like to think that I would have written it a lot differently than it is. But I also understand the concerns that countries like South Korea, Japan, and others have put a lot more money and a lot more effort into this agreement than the United States has.
I do not want to give the North Korean Government an excuse to make the situation we now have a lot worse.
We have done some things with this agreement. The North Korean nuclear facility at Yongbyon and Taechom have been frozen under the IAEA inspection. Virtually all of the spent fuel in the Yongbyon reactor has been safely canned under IAEA seals. Those are spelled forth.
At the same time, this is a country which I think both the Senator from Arizona and I would agree has the ability to make inspections. The ability to determine what they are doing is probably as difficult as any country in the world. What makes it worse, unlike some other countries where it is difficult to find out what they are doing, they are not countries with the potential nuclear power and potential nuclear weapons power.
Mr. President, I yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum.
I withhold the suggestion of the absence of a quorum. I see the Senator from Arizona on the floor.
Mr. McCAIN addressed the Chair.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arizona.
Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, is it still the desire of the Senator from Vermont that--does Senator Levin still wish to speak on this?
Mr. LEAHY. I wonder if the Senator from Arizona and the distinguished chairman would mind if we put in a quorum call for 2 minutes. If at that time we do not hear from the Senator, I will not do anything to delay this further.
Mr. McCONNELL. And then there will be no objection to lifting it later?
Mr. LEAHY. No.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Wyoming.
Mr. THOMAS. Mr. President, if I may, I wish to make another comment or so on this amendment.
I understand the notion that you want to make this thing work, and we have tried for quite a long time. It just seems to me that around the world right now in a number of places we are having these kinds of countries with the dictators sort of testing the United States, saying, `You have told us certain things, we have made certain agreements, but we are not going to keep them, and what are you going to do about it?'
I feel as if that is an increasing tendency around the world, and this is one of them, as well as Iraq and some other places. So I think we want to continue to work, we would like to have the KEDO agreement, we would like to go ahead with the light-water reactor to avoid the nuclear development in North Korea, but that is the deal. And if that isn't being adhered to, then I think you have to do something. I think we have to take a tougher position than we have in the past.
I just do not see that it is good for the United States in the future to be making agreements with these sorts of rogue countries, trying to make things better, going ahead and doing our part, and them not doing theirs. I think that is what this amendment is about. And what we are challenged with, frankly, is to say, `We have things that need to be done, we are willing to work with you, but you have to keep up your part of the bargain.' I think that is what this is all about.
I yield the floor.
By the way, if I may take that back, I was also listening to Senator Dodd's proposal that has to do with things in Central America that have been kept secret, and I am very much interested in part of that myself, the Sister Ortiz thing that really needs to be declassified, in my judgment. So I just wanted to comment that I speak in support of the Dodd amendment.
I yield the floor.
Mr. McCONNELL. Madam President, I move to table the McCain amendment and ask for the yeas and nays.
The PRESIDING OFFICER (Ms. Collins). Is there a sufficient second?
There appears to be a sufficient second.
The yeas and nays were ordered.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on agreeing to the motion to table the McCain amendment. The yeas and nays have been ordered. The clerk will call the roll.
The assistant legislative clerk called the roll.
Mr. NICKLES. I announce that the Senator from Georgia (Mr. Coverdell), the Senator from New Mexico (Mr. Domenici), the Senator from Alaska (Mr. Murkowski), the Senator from Idaho (Mr. Kempthorne), and the Senator from Kansas (Mr. Brownback) are necessarily absent.
I also anounce that the Senator from North Carolina (Mr. Helms) is absent because of illness.
I further announce that if present and voting, the Senator from North Carolina (Mr. Helms) would vote `no.'
Mr. FORD. I announce that the Senator from New Mexico (Mr. Bingaman), the Senator from Ohio (Mr. Glenn), and the Senator from Hawaii (Mr. Inouye) are necessarily absent.
The result was announced--yeas 11, nays 80, as follows:
The motion to lay on the table the amendment (No. 3500), as further modified, was rejected.
Mr. LEVIN. Mr. President, I voted to table the McCain amendment because I believe it undermines the agreement we have in place with North Korea that is designed to denuclearize North Korea. This could effectively give North Korea an excuse to produce plutonium that it could use for nuclear weapons, which would be absolutely contrary to our most basic national security interests.
The McCain amendment would add a requirement for a certification relative to North Korea that would undermine the Agreed Framework that has frozen North Korea's nuclear weapons plutonium production program, because it would change the terms of that agreement. Before any of the fiscal year 1999 funds for implementation of that Agreed Framework could be spent, the McCain amendment would require the President to certify that North Korea is essentially denuclearized, which is not yet the case but which is the very goal of the Agreed Framework.
The Agreed Framework stipulates that North Korea must freeze its plutonium production facilities, namely three graphite-moderated nuclear reactors (either operating or under construction) and a plutonium reprocessing facility, in exchange for an international consortium (the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization, or KEDO) providing two proliferation-resistant light water nuclear power reactors.
Before the U.S. delivers key nuclear components to the North Korean light-water reactor program, North Korea must come into full compliance with its nuclear safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). It was understood from the outset that it would take a number of years, and probably not before the year 2003, before North Korea would come into full compliance with its obligations under the NPT.
The whole idea of the Agreed Framework was in fact to bring North Korea into full compliance with the NPT and to go beyond the NPT's requirements by requiring North Korea to freeze and then dismantle its plutonium production facilities, and to place all its spent nuclear fuel in canisters safeguarded and monitored by the IAEA and eventually remove that spent fuel from North Korea. These represent significant security gains for the United States and we should honor our commitments under the agreement to realize these gains.
We should not give North Korea an excuse to walk away from its obligations under the Agreed Framework and to resume the production of plutonium for nuclear weapons. I believe that is what the McCain amendment would do, and that is why I voted to table the McCain amendment.