Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass.

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TERRY KEENAN, GUEST HOST: Can a diplomacy work to diffuse the crisis with North Korea as the president hopes? Massachusetts Congressman Edward Markey sent a letter to President Bush with a solution he suggests to settle the standoff. And Congressman Markey joins me from Washington.

Congressman, welcome. What is your solution that you have proposed to the president?

REP. EDWARD MARKEY, D-MASS.: Well, first of all, North Korea is a crisis. A homicidal maniac runs the country. They have long-range ballistic capability. And they probably already have nuclear weapons. Saddam Hussein doesn't have the long-range ballistic missile capacity or nuclear weapons yet, most likely. So this is a very dangerous situation. We have known about it, for sure, since the early part of October, and yet the Bush administration has yet to go to the United Nations. There is a three-month gap that has been allowed to be created which has allowed for the escalation of the crisis.

I propose that the United Nations Security Council condemn North Korea, that we isolate them as violators of the nuclear nonproliferation treaty, and that at the same time we say to them, if they are willing to accept IAEA inspectors, as Saddam Hussein has, and if they are willing to give back their nuclear materials, and to stop their sale of ballistic missiles, that we will provide them the guarantee that we won't use nuclear weapons against them, and, that we will build them twice the new electricity generating capacity as had been promised under original agreement. But we won't give them nuclear power plants as the Bush administration and the Clinton administration was going to give them, because we now realize he will use them as nuclear bomb factories.

KEENAN: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Whether it is giving him nuclear plants or electricity plants, aren't we rewarding bad behavior by doing this and isn't this how we got into this mess in the first place by appeasing North Koreans?

MARKEY: No. The way we got into the mess the first place was by accepting a fiction that we could provide nuclear power plants to the North Koreans in return for them promising to shut down another nuclear program.

KEENAN: Right. And that was part of a plan that was negotiated by the Clinton administration back in `94, the Agreed Framework; correct?

MARKEY: And I was completely opposed to it, when the Clinton administration negotiated it. And I have been opposed to it for the two years the Bush administration has accepted it as their framework as well. It is wrong to have nuclear power plants be the basis for a negotiation with a regime like North Korea. You know, President Bush put them on the axis of evil because we feared that they were pursuing a nuclear weapons program. But you can't be providing them the uranium or the plutonium or the nuclear expertise at the same time. So, I don't want to reward them at all. I say to them, accept the inspectors, Saddam Hussein has now at least begun that process. Give us back the nuclear material that you have right now, stop the ballistic missile sales and if you do that, then we will build the electrical generating capacity and the electricity grid in your country, and give you twice as much as we had promised in the past to help your people deal with the economic depression which they are suffering from.

KEENAN: Depression that has gone on for years and we are dealing with a regime in Pyongyang that has not stood by or lived up to a single agreement since the Korean War 40 years ago, why would we trust them now?

MARKEY: I'm saying we should not trust them. We must not ever again give them nuclear power plants, and then say we are sending in the IAEA. From now on they get no nuclear materials. We don't trust them at all. That is the mistake that every Democrat and Republican administration has made throughout history. We have the same problem in Iran. We have the same problem in Iraq. Let's end the mythology that nuclear power plants aren't going to be used as bomb factories. And then, build them the coal or the oil fired electrical generating capacity if they give back the nuclear materials and allow for an international inspections regime as long as they stop selling ballistic missiles internationally. So, I just think it is a realistic basis for getting out of this mess, or else we are going to see an escalation with a homicidal maniac with nuclear weapons and a ballistic missile capacity.

KEENAN: All right. We are going to have to leave there but thanks for your input on this story.

MARKEY: Thank you.

KEENAN: And happy New Year as well.

MARKEY: Happy New Year to you.

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