Siegfried Knittel sends me this post on the blog China Matters and wants to know what I make of the speculation “that Kim Jung Il revealed information about the plant as a confidence-building measure to advance North Korea’s agenda with US negotiators, while hanging the Syrians out to dry. Maybe those incriminating pictures inside the purported Syrian reactor were snaps by a North Korean technician that Dear Leader passed on to Chris Hill.” The blogger probably does not realize it, but it would echo the revelations that Great Leader made to Prime Minister Koizumi regarding the abductees. So it's an interesting hypothesis, and it’s pretty clear that Israel/US had access to official or semi-official records, not “just a few furtive snapshots taken by a daring spy”.
However, the access most likely consisted of clandestine operations by the Israelis, the Mossad, and not through a Kim Jong Il leak. Think, Occam’s Razor. Besides, letting Chris Hill know that you've given assistance to a clandestine nuclear program of a third country (and a “state sponsor of terrorism” at that) while continuing to deny it publicly would be a strange way to go about getting a deal accepted in the US.
In support of his guess, the blogger assumes that John Bolton is holding back on his criticism of the State Department people because he knows what’s going on. To quote:
Specifically, I am not seeing the signs of orgasmic release I would expect from John Bolton if this revelation was a bombshell that promised to destroy the Six Party Agreement and shatter the reputations of his detested adversaries inside the State Department.But this not only assumes that he supports the deal, but that he somehow had access to the information, the Kim Jong Il leak, that had not been available when he resigned from the Bush administration.
Pardon the blogger’s French, but there's the following quote from the Washington Post:
On the conservative side, John Bolton, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations who has been critical of U.S. policy on North Korea, said: "I think this should drive the stake through the six-party talks. It shows why the North Koreans can't be trusted, why you need intrusive verification of anything they say."
Sounds to me like one happy guy, IYKWIAS. I'm sure he said much more, but there are so many other newsworthy sources closer to the action, such as angry Republican Senators and Congressmen, that there’s only so much ink to spare for someone who is at present no more than a talking head. And now to the real point of this post:
If you don’t find something in the media, that doesn’t mean that the media hasn’t carried it. But if you do find it in the media, that doesn’t mean that it has happened. And if the media didn’t carried it, that still doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened.
Part of the reason why I blog, actually.
ADD: Incidentally, I think that the main reason why Israel didn't go to the IAEA with the information is because it didn't want to face questions about its own nuclear weapons program.