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Attention-Getting Nuclear Devices

March 09, 2003

Re "U.S. Said to Be Resigned to a Nuclear Korea," March 5:

It is unconscionable that the Bush administration is squandering all of America's diplomatic capital to start an unnecessary war against Iraq without lifting a finger to prevent North Korea from building nuclear weapons. In the entire world, there is no greater threat to U.S. national security than North Korea's nuclear program. And yet President Bush, who created the Office of Homeland Security, is poised to allow Kim Jong Il to build a nuclear arsenal.

Bush will be held accountable by future generations if he breaks his promise to the American people not to allow "the world's worst dictators to obtain the world's worst weapons."

Hugh T. Blair

Los Angeles

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Re "Face Up to the Korea Crisis," editorial, March 5: In the early 1980s, the Israeli government considered the consequences of an Iraqi nuclear power plant anathema to its existence and destroyed it. Israel was condemned at that time, but history has proved its actions to have been correct. The Clinton administration, according to your editorial, "considered" a military strike, but instead decided to buy time by giving fuel to the North Koreans. This was a mistake of grave proportions, as history has shown North Korea worthy of its designation as part of the "axis of evil."

A second Korean War would be disastrous for that peninsula, but The Times should also criticize the previous administration for its weak approach to this matter. The Bush administration is attempting to correct the damage done in the last administration, but the fact of the matter is that North Korea could never be trusted to uphold its end of any bargain.

Andrew Matthew

Agoura Hills

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Who's provoking whom here? Before Bush inaugurated North Korea into his "axis of evil," that country was peacefully negotiating with South Korea for reunification. Then North Korea sees Bush send a quarter of a million troops to invade another "axis" member, a nation that hasn't attacked any other country for 12 years. North Korea justifiably thinks it will be next. Why wouldn't it step up its defenses?

Marjorie Cohn

San Diego

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