North Korea vigorously denied having sold nuclear weapons to Syria or had any involvement in nuclear programs with that nation. Their nuclear envoy, Kim Kye Gwan claimed “the matter is fabricated so you can ask the lunatics to explain it.” He charged America turned its back when allies like India or Israel engaged in nuclear activities but came down strong on any nuclear programs by nations it disliked. Syria also denied any nuclear engagement with North Korea and indicated it had no interest in attending the upcoming fall conference dealing with Israel and Palestinians. A spokesperson for the Syrian government noted, “we have no interest in going just to have our photos taken.” He said his government did not believe there was any serious interest in dealing with the Palestinian issue.
One thing is for certain, the Syrian spokesperson will never get a job in the Bush administration if he doesn’t want to take advantage of photo-op opportunities. But, Syria is raising a key issue — is Israel prepared to engage in serious negotiations? Yesterday, Prime Minister Olmert said it might take 20-30 years to resolve the Palestinian issue so why should Arab nations expect concrete results from the meeting?