Whopper of the Week: North Korea
It violated an arms agreement "more than 100."
"If the United States hopes for maintaining the [Democratic People's Republic of Korea]-U.S. agreed framework (AF) and improving the relations with the DPRK, it should drop its hostile policy toward the DPRK as required by the AF and show in practice its will to make compensation for the huge loss of electricity caused by the delayed provision of light water reactors (LWRs). [North Korea's official newspaper] Rodong Sinmun Tuesday says this in a signed commentary as regards the assertion made by the U.S. administration on August 7, when the ground concrete tamping for the light water reactor started. It blustered that the DPRK should accept the IAEA's nuclear inspection and if not, it would not provide the LWRs.
"Saying that the core point of the 1994 AF is the U.S. provision of LWRs to the DPRK by 2003 in return for the latter's freezing of its nuclear facilities, the commentary continues:
"The DPRK has fulfilled all its commitments under the AF more than 100. [Italics Chatterbox's.] But the U.S. did nothing but starting ground concrete tamping belatedly. It is, therefore, a height of folly for the U.S. it to talk about a nuclear inspection under this situation."
—"U.S. Urged To Honor Its Commitment Under AF," Sept. 3, North Korean Central News Agency.
"The North Korean government has acknowledged for the first time that it has been secretly developing nuclear weapons for years in violation of international agreements—and that it possesses "more powerful" weapons, as well—Bush administration officials said last night.
"The North Koreans, who confirmed the project when challenged by visiting U.S. diplomats earlier this month, said the existence of the program nullifies a 1994 deal with the United States to halt their nuclear weapons program in return for foreign help.
"A U.S. delegation headed by Assistant Secretary of State James A. Kelly presented detailed evidence of a covert nuclear weapons program during an Oct. 3-5 trip, U.S. officials said. The North Koreans called the allegations "fabrications," but then a day later, a more senior official, Deputy Foreign Minister Kang Sok Joo, confirmed Kelly's charges. He said the North Koreans met through the night before deciding to reveal that the project had been underway for several years. He also said his government had developed other, more powerful weapons."
—Peter Slevin and Karen DeYoung, "North Korea Admits Having Secret Nuclear Arms," Washington Post, Oct. 17.
Got a whopper? Send it to email@example.com. To be considered, an entry must be an unambiguously false statement paired with an unambiguous refutation, and both must be derived from some appropriately reliable public source. Preference will be given to newspapers and other documents that Chatterbox can link to online.
Timothy Noah is a former Slate staffer. His book about income inequality is The Great Divergence.