Senate Democrats


It is time for the Bush Administration to finally change course from a failed North Korea policy

Washington, DCSenate Democratic Leader Harry Reid today released the following statement on reports that North Korea has conducted its first nuclear test.

“The reckless and counterproductive actions taken by North Korea must be condemned. The Bush Administration and the international community must ensure that North Korea understands the consequences of its actions. The first step toward ending North Korea’s nuclear weapons program must be to ensure that this alleged first nuclear test is also the last.

“Unfortunately, on the Bush Administration’s watch, North Korea’s nuclear arsenal has grown to as many as a dozen bombs. Distracted by Iraq and paralyzed by internal divisions, the Bush Administration has for several years been in a state of denial about the growing challenge of North Korea, and has too often tried to downplay the issue or change the subject. Now the White House must rally the international community and must directly speak with the North Koreans so they understand we will not continue to stand on the sidelines.

“I urge the President to immediately appoint a senior official to conduct a full review of his Administration’s failed North Korea policy, develop recommendations to change course, and directly communicate to the North Koreans the consequences of their actions and the Administration’s new course. On North Korea as in other national security policies, the Bush Administration and the Republican-controlled Congress have made America less secure. It is time for a new direction.”