The Korean Conundrum

How Should The U.S. And The U.N. Handle North Korea's Nukes?

The following is a weekly 60 Minutes commentary by CBS News correspondent Andy Rooney.

I served in the United States Army for four years during World War II, so I never feel I have to worry about sounding unpatriotic when I'm critical of something my country does.

Right now, I don't understand why we think it is OK for us to have nuclear weapons but it isn't all right for some other countries to have any. I don't think any country should have a nuclear weapon. And that includes ours.

Seven countries admit having them. They are The United States, Great Britain, Russia, France, China, India and Pakistan. Israel may have them, but hasn't said so.

North Korea has recently set off a nuclear bomb of some kind, and the leaders of the countries with the bomb - that includes us -are in a tizzy about that.

We're a little late getting exercised about this. North Korea has always been more of a threat to world peace than Iraq ever was and if we were going to attack someone three years ago to make the world safer, we should have attacked North Korea, not Iraq.

We're not so much afraid that North Korea will use the bomb against us as we are that they'll sell their nuclear technology to some little country or group of individuals who will use it on us. It could happen.

It's not hard to understand why North Korea wants the bomb. If we Americans lived in North Korea instead of here, do you think we'd be in favor of our little country having it? You're darn right we would.

President Bush did the right thing when he presented the United Nations with our complaint against North Korea instead of declaring war on them. I'm not a big fan of the U.N. It's been an ineffectual organization but we've got to give it more power and the way to give it more power is to give it more responsibility. The U.N. should take the bomb away from North Korea; we should not.

I've said it, and I'm glad.
By Andy Rooney