In the 1990’s, denuclearization, a key aim of U.S. diplomacy, was at the heart of a series of crises on the Korean Peninsula throughout the Clinton Administration. Via history.state.gov:
There were signs of hope in early steps toward denuclearization. In January 1992, North Korea publicly committed to signing the nuclear safeguards agreement with the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and to permitting inspections of its primary nuclear facility at Yongbyon. In April of the same year, the North and South signed the Joint Declaration of the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, which barred the parties from developing or acquiring nuclear weapons and limited them to using nuclear energy for peaceful purposes only. […]
The parties returned to negotiations, but these, too, faltered as North Korea resisted IAEA inspections. By March 1994, North Korean diplomats threatened war if the United States and South Korea went to the U.N. In May North Korea withdrew from the IAEA. A last-minute private trip to North Korea by President Jimmy Carter in June 1994 averted war and led to U.S.-North Korean bilateral negotiations and the October 1994 Agreed Framework for the denuclearization of North Korea.
The Agreed Framework was a staged, multilateral agreement involving the two Koreas, the United States, and Japan. It required Pyongyang to halt its nuclear activities at Yongbyon, allow IAEA monitors in, and eventually dismantle the facility. In exchange, the United States, Japan, and South Korea would provide light water reactors, and the United States would provide interim energy supplies in the form of fuel-oil. Each stage was to build confidence that the parties were willing to continue.
In carrying out the agreement, however, numerous setbacks eroded trust among the parties. While the United States followed through on its promises to ship fuel-oil, the U.S. Congress delayed the deliveries. The 1997 IMF Crisis limited the ability of South Korea to contribute to the construction of the light water reactors, leading to delays. Meanwhile, North Korea engaged in provocative acts against South Korea and Japan, testing ballistic missiles and pursuing other weapons activities. In 1998, suspected nuclear weapons activities at Kumchang-ri brought the Agreed Framework to the brink of collapse. Once inspectors were finally allowed in, they found no evidence of nuclear activity, but mistrust remained high. The Clinton administration worked to get the Agreed Framework back on track, leading to the visit of a North Korean envoy to the United States, a joint statement of no hostile intent, and a reciprocal visit by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to Pyongyang in October 2000.
However, despite these efforts, the nuclear issue was still unresolved. It was not long before the next crisis would arise, requiring the international community to take another approach to addressing the denuclearization issue. North Korea broke out of the 1994 agreement in the winter of 2002, resulting in the opening of the Six-Party Talks the following year, hosted by China.
The President of the United States minus the “Mission Accomplished” banner, announcing the “historic victories against ISIS” and withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria:
The happy, thumbs-up people:
Via state.gov, Daily (not-daily, now dubbed Department) Press Briefing with Deputy Spox Palladino:
QUESTION: I want to ask you just briefly – and I know you won’t be able to say a lot – but about this woman, this Yemeni woman who was trying to get here to see her dying son out on the west coast. I understand visa records are confidential, but my question about this is: Why does it always seem to take a public outcry for you guys to do what a lot of people think is the right thing, the humanitarian thing to do?
MR PALLADINO: What I’d say, Matt, is – I mean, I’ve read these reports, and it is a very sad case, and our thoughts go out to this family in this time, this trying time. But I would also add we – that we are governed by the Immigration and Nationality Act, and visa records are confidential. For the latest, they could share information as they see fit, and that’s not something that we’re going to be able to do here from the State Department.
QUESTION: No, I’m not asking you – I’m not – we know what the – that the decision has been made and that she has gotten a waiver, at least according to the family’s lawyers. My question is: Why does it always seem to be – and this is not just this administration. This goes back previous administrations as well, is that in cases like this, it always seems that you guys don’t do what most people think would be the right and humane and humanitarian thing to do until there’s a public outcry about it. What is it about the visa process that makes it so harsh when it comes to situations like this?
MR PALLADINO: These are decided on a case-by-case basis, and we are committed to following United States administration law and ensuring the integrity and security of our country’s borders, and at the same time making every effort to facilitate legitimate travel to the United States. These are not easy questions. These are – we’ve got a lot of Foreign Service officers deployed all over the world that are making these decisions on a daily basis, and they’re trying very hard to do the right thing at all times.
Thank you @USAIDMarkGreen for hosting me at @USAID today. It was great to speak with the USAID team. Your work is saving lives and building partnerships to create a world where foreign aid is no longer needed. #DevJourney #MeetWithMike pic.twitter.com/DdT472CGm4
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) November 28, 2018
This is terribly short-sighted by the Trump Admin. It will do little to pressure Palestinian leaders to come to talks, will harm ordinary Palestinians, &most of all, deprive the US of a key tool to promote stability that benefits Israelis and Palestinians. https://t.co/t3ETbiunMf
— Dan Shapiro (@DanielBShapiro) November 25, 2018
USAID said to plan firing over half its employees in West Bank and Gaza https://t.co/Em8qoepCYi
— The Times of Israel (@TimesofIsrael) November 26, 2018
— Robbie Gramer (@RobbieGramer) December 1, 2018
On Wednesday, senior @USAID official Jeanne Pryor toured an east Jerusalem hospital and visited a Palestinian child undergoing dialysis, @lutheranworld says. On Thursday, the US cut all aid to that hospital and others in east Jerusalem, @statedept says. https://t.co/mmzwpxXo62
— Daniel Estrin (@DanielEstrin) September 8, 2018
Related item: Saudi Arabia: Background and U.S. Relations (PDF) | September, 2018 (Congressional Research Service).
The Trump Administration’s effort to rebuild the U.S.-#Saudi partnership isn’t popular in the salons of Washington, but the kingdom is a force for stability in the Mideast. Degrading our ties would be a mistake for U.S. national security. Read my op-ed: https://t.co/DcUyXYd1os
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) November 28, 2018
Mike Pompeo’s Faustian bargain – The Washington Post https://t.co/D8z5tLW7GF
— Daniel W. Drezner (@dandrezner) November 29, 2018
Pompeo: “Saudi Arabia is a powerful force for stability.”🤦🏽♀️
– The Saudis backed the coup in Egypt
– Support oppression in Bahrain
– Bomb/starve Yemen
-kidnapped Lebanese PM
MBS is many things, but a force for stability isn’t one of them https://t.co/9ZXvIad9XN
— Rula Jebreal (@rulajebreal) November 28, 2018
Opinion: Pompeo goes from diplomat to hack https://t.co/4sT3IwIDIf
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) November 29, 2018
"Pompeo’s latest apologia on behalf of Saudi Arabia is a desperate effort by the Secretary of State to discourage senators from voting for S.J.Res. 54 later this week, and it should be dismissed as the mendacious piece of propaganda that it clearly is." https://t.co/TLJsOMSUXQ
— Daniel Larison (@DanielLarison) November 28, 2018
Pompeo’s outrageously unconvincing Wall Street Journal op-ed reads as if it were dictated by the crown prince’s high-priced public relations agents (which, for all we know, it might have been). My latest in @PostOpinions: https://t.co/aW70VVDmy3
— Max Boot (@MaxBoot) November 29, 2018
The Saudis will ruthlessly torture their cousins to accrue powerhttps://t.co/cnDVJZ6KVM
— emptywheel (@emptywheel) November 28, 2018
This Pompeo op-ed is BANANAS.
After several paragraphs of lavish fawning praise for Riyadh, Pompeo drops the HAMMER:
“The US doesn’t condone the Khashoggi killing.”
Huh? So wait…there was a chance we might?? Awesome.
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) November 28, 2018
My favorite part of this absurd piece is how Pompeo tries to present support for the US-Saudi relationship as a bold rejection of DC establishment thinking. Bravo. https://t.co/5d27DbHqnq
— Matt Duss (@mattduss) November 28, 2018
On November 28, the Secretary of State told the world that “Saudi Arabia has invested billions to relive suffering in Yemen.” Pretty soon, Saudi Arabia’s spokesman would not have a job anymore.
The Guardian reported that in 2017, the Yemen appeal for $2.5bn was only 73% funded, but that the needs have intensified in a country battered since 2015 by a Saudi-led military offensive aimed at repelling Iran-backed Houthi rebels who control the capital. In April this year, during a UN donor conference for people affected by war in Yemen – labelled as the “world’s worst humanitarian crisis” – has received pledges of more than $2bn, close to half of which is promised by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, two key protagonists in the conflict, according to the same report. Click here for the OCHA page for pledges and paid contributions for Yemen.
On October 24, 2017, U.S. Ambassador Matthew H. Tueller re-issued a disaster declaration for the ongoing complex emergency in Yemen for FY 2018 due to “continued humanitarian needs resulting from the complex emergency and the impact of the country’s political and economic crises on vulnerable populations.” USAID’s November 9, 2018 Factsheet on Yemen Disaster Assistance indicates that the United States humanitarian funding for the Yemen response in FY2018 is $566,273,269 (includes funding through the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA), the Office of Food for Peace (USAID/FFP), and the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (State/PRM)). Secretary Pompeo’s tweet on November 28 says that the United States is providing an “additional” $131 million in food assistance to Yemen.
According to the CRS, since March 2015, the U.S.-trained Saudi military has used U.S.-origin weaponry, U.S. logistical assistance, and shared intelligence in support of military operations in Yemen. Excerpt:
In May 2017, President Trump signaled a continuation and deepening of bilateral defense cooperation, announcing completed and proposed defense sales during his visit to Riyadh with a potential value of more than $110 billion. The sales include cases that the Obama Administration had proposed and notified to Congress, cases developed under the Obama Administration on which Congress had been preliminarily consulted, and new sales that remain under development.
The United States’ role in supporting the Saudi-led coalition’s military operations in Yemen has evolved over time. 65 At present, it consists of some intelligence sharing, aerial refueling, and the deployment of advisers to Saudi Arabia for border security and anti-ballistic missile purposes.66 In his latest biannual War Powers letters to Congress on the deployment of U.S. forces abroad in combat operations (P.L. 93-148), President Trump informed Congress about ongoing U.S. counterterrorism operations in Yemen and stated that U.S. forces in noncombat roles were providing “military advice and limited information, logistics, and other support to regional forces combatting the Houthi insurgency.”
So, on one hand, we’re supporting the side that’s indiscriminately bombing hospitals, school buses and children, and on the other hand, we’re spending millions of dollars for food and humanitarian assistance to help those who are bombed and starved. Also, our Secretary of Swagger did not just announced the additional millions in food assistance but also cited “our generous example” in “galvanizing humanitarian assistance.” When is this going up on Instagram, people?
By the way, the most recent USAID/OFDA official said “no amount of aid money can prevent this famine” and that absent massive political pressure on the Saudi, this is just “window dressing.”
Related item: Saudi Arabia: Background and U.S. Relations (PDF) | Updated September 21, 2018 (Congressional Research Service).
Iran’s regime has no interest in easing Yemeni suffering; the mullahs don’t even care for ordinary Iranians. Saudi Arabia has invested billions to relieve suffering in #Yemen. Iran has invested zero.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) November 28, 2018
Through our generous example, the U.S. has galvanized humanitarian assistance to ease Yemeni people’s suffering. Today we’re announcing nearly $131 million in additional food assistance in #Yemen, bringing total humanitarian aid to more than $697 million over the past 14 months.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) November 28, 2018
The idea that Saudi Arabia cares about ordinary Yemenis and is seeking to “relieve suffering” in Yemen is ludicrous. The fact that Pompeo has to use such talking points shows how weak the case for US support of this war is. https://t.co/FsEJ7fS99p
— Amy Hawthorne (@awhawth) November 29, 2018
Mr. Secretary, Iran is not bombing Yemen. Saudi Arabia is, using munitions from US defense contractors, precipitating the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. https://t.co/3GTChdmZGv This happened on your watch. What will you do about it? cc @statedeptspox pic.twitter.com/2nJFDkXDWw
— Alex Howard (@digiphile) November 28, 2018
Pompeo today to Senators on Yemen: "I know many of you
think it’s time to pack up and abandon the role we’ve been playing since the previous
administration. I’m here to tell you why that’s a bad call."
Five & change hours later, 63 Senators voted to rebuke him.
— Spencer Ackerman (@attackerman) November 28, 2018
As the guy who used to oversee that very aid, let me say explicitly: no amount of aid money can prevent this famine. Without massive political pressure on the Saudis, this is just window dressing. https://t.co/gj01ePZaOn
— Jeremy Konyndyk (@JeremyKonyndyk) November 28, 2018
Every day, 130 children under 5 were dying from extreme hunger & disease in #Yemen at the end of last year.
Nearly 50,000 children during the course of a year.
— UN Humanitarian (@UNOCHA) October 23, 2018
"Desperate. Devastated. Financially, mentally, morally. Completely devastated." pic.twitter.com/0GZYlHa7RX
— VICE News (@vicenews) November 25, 2018
Responding to Sec. of State Pompeo’s op-ed today in the WSJ, Yemen’s Houthi-backed foreign minister launched a scathing appeal to the US to not use Yemen to fight a proxy war with Saudi Arabia.
They “are trying to fight Iran in our territory. Why don’t they go to Iran?" pic.twitter.com/dTDcZ0kcyl
— Christiane Amanpour (@camanpour) November 28, 2018
The Walter and Leonore Annenberg Award for Excellence in Diplomacy is an annual award given by the American Academy of Diplomacy in recognition of an individual or group who has made exemplary contributions to the field of American diplomacy. It is the Academy’s highest honor and its purpose is to highlight the important contribution of all aspects of diplomacy to the nation’s business. The Award is presented at the Academy’s Annual Awards Luncheon at the State Department in the fall, during which the recipient acts as keynote speaker. Recipients of the Annenberg Award are recommended by the Academy’s Executive Committee and are approved by the Board of Directors.
This year’s Annual Awards Luncheon took place at the Benjamin Franklin Room on Tuesday, November 20, 2018. The event was co-hosted by Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan. The awardee this year was the 13th and 19th White House Chief of Staff and 61st United States Secretary of State, James A. Baker, III.
James A. Baker, III, has served in senior government positions under three United States presidents. He served as the nation’s 61st secretary of state from January 1989 through August 1992 under President George H.W. Bush. During his tenure at the State Department, Baker traveled to 90 foreign countries as the United States confronted the unprecedented challenges and opportunities of the post–Cold War era. Baker’s reflections on those years of revolution, war and peace — “The Politics of Diplomacy” — was published in 1995. Read more here.
Below are some previous recipients of the Annenberg Award. The full list is here.
2017: William J. Perry
The 19th United States Secretary of Defense
2016: Robert B. Zoellick
Former World Bank Group President & U.S. Trade Representative
2015: William J. Burns
Under Secretary of State
2014: Carla A. Hills
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
2013: George P. Shultz
Secretary of State
2012: Richard G. Lugar
2011: Robert Gates
Secretary of Defense
2010: Harold Saunders
Director of international affairs, the Kettering Foundation
2009: William Lacy Swing
Director General, International Organization for Migration (IOM)
2008: Ryan C. Crocker
Ambassador to Iraq
A follow-up to Russia-Ukraine Tensions Escalate in Sea of Azov, U.S. Issues Forceful Response: ZZZzzz, late November 26, the State Department finally released a statement from Secretary Pompeo condemning the “aggressive Russian action” in the Kerch Strait. Earlier, he had an opportunity to address the incident during his joint press appearance with Kosovo’s president but declined to do so.
Here's the moment a Russian ship collided with a Ukrainian vessel, according to a video posted by the interior minister of Ukraine pic.twitter.com/LKntkO0a8S
— TicToc by Bloomberg (@tictoc) November 27, 2018
— Nikki Haley (@nikkihaley) November 26, 2018
US perm representative, Nikki Haley, seeks to account for the silence from the White House and Secretary of State on Azov Sea. Says she talked to Trump and Pompeo before today's session and says her statement "reflects the concerns at the highest levels of the US government."
— Julian Borger (@julianborger) November 26, 2018
I asked Pompeo if he would condemn Russia's seizure of three Ukrainian vessels and whether he had any response to the rise in tensions. He waved, but did not answer. https://t.co/zG3SdsW6d6
— Conor Finnegan (@cjf39) November 26, 2018
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) November 26, 2018
Translate this US statement on Russia's latest act of war against Ukraine into dictator-speak, Putin's language: "We aren't going to do anything about it." That's how he will read it. https://t.co/hKs8wMKr06
— Garry Kasparov (@Kasparov63) November 26, 2018