Robert Manning's article (Opinion, May 22) expresses alarm that North Korea, because of "the pattern of empty U.S. threats," may feel "emboldened" to develop nuclear weapons. Manning proffers several plausible explanations why U.S. admonishments concerning the development of nuclear weapons languish, not considered seriously by other countries. However, Manning omits mentioning the one country that is the source of the United States' lack of credibility over the issue of nuclear non-proliferation: Israel. Bosnia, Serbia, Somalia and Haiti have nothing to do with the paucity of U.S. credibility over nuclear weapons. (Do they possess nuclear weapons?) U.S. lack of credibility extends back to the 1950s and 1960s when Israel clandestinely began to develop nuclear weapons. The U.S. neither ordered nor threatened Israel to desist from its development of nuclear weapons. Now, the U.S. is paying the price of that complicity.
Currently, the U.S. government pretends that Israel does not have nuclear weapons. Countries such as Iraq, Iran, India, Pakistan, South Africa and North Korea know better. Thus, it is with incredible duplicity and hypocrisy that the U.S. demands that those countries abide by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty while it allows Israel to refuse to sign the treaty and to refuse to permit international inspections of Dimona.
FRANK E. TEEPLE III
* In your May 21 article, "N. Korea Crisis Eases as Inspectors Report No Nuclear Fuel Diversion," your reporter neglects to report the response from the Pyongyang regime as to why blatant violations against the International Atomic Energy Agency policy were committed. There is no doubt with the tense stalemate of diplomatic talks between the U.S. and North Korea that both should be walking on eggshells.
For North Korea to continue to disregard and even impede the U.N.'s IAEA inspection is certainly an egregious act, but to impose sanctions on a country whose tattered economy is on its last limb would not effect the changes witnessed in its sister country of South Korea. To do so would elicit a crisis from which there is no return.
The United States and United Nations must continue to work through diplomatic channels to expand economic and higher level talks. In spite of differences, it is the same end result wished by both countries.