The Secretary of State has something to say about fissile material in North Korea, but the transcript is not yet online. [Update: here’s the “transcript”:http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2009a/02/117345.htm.] From “Glenn Kessler”:http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/15/AR2009021501790.html:
“There is a debate within the intelligence community as to exactly the extent of the highly enriched uranium program,” Clinton told reporters traveling with her to Asia on her first voyage as the chief U.S. diplomat.
“The Agreed Framework was torn up on the basis of the concerns about the highly enriched uranium program,” Clinton said. “There is no debate that, once the Agreed Framework was torn up, the North Koreans began to reprocess plutonium with a vengeance because all bets were off. The result is they now have nuclear weapons, which they did not have before.”
“My goal is the denuclearization of North Korea,” Clinton said. “That means a verifiably complete accounting of whatever programs they have and the removal of the reprocessed plutonium that they were able to achieve because they were given the opportunity to do so.”
“When they move forward” on ending the program, she added, “we have a great openness to working with them,” including “a willingness to help the people of North Korea.”
Perhaps Secretary Clinton meant to say that the North Koreans have more nuclear weapons than before the Agreed Framework was torn up. (If memory serves — this was back in late 2002 — the North Koreans were the first to declare the AF dead, but remained within the NPT and kept Yongbyon on ice until the U.S. cut off HFO deliveries.) But perhaps she meant exactly what she said.
Jeff has already “laid out the issue”:http://www.armscontrolwonk.com/1907/north-korean-reprocessing-campaigns, so it needn’t be explained all over again here.