The American negotiators imagine that North Korea would conduct nuclear disarmament for a million tons of heavy oil. That’s below $300 million. North Korea could get higher price for a single nuclear bomb on the black market. That country has enough plutonium for several bombs. The deal is senseless for Korea both in terms of pride and money. North Koreans stated the oil pays for “temporary suspension” of nuclear production. Considering pitiful performance of the first Korean bomb, the suspension was there, anyway. North Korea needs time to improve the bomb’s design.
The agreement merely stipulates the parties’ will to regional denuclearization, essentially leaving the issue unresolved. American politicians will soon start questioning North Korean performance. The situation recalls the early days of American immigration, when settlers bought land from Red Indians; settlers thought they were buying ownership, Indians were selling right of use. Similar misunderstanding will come up with Korea. US will say it provided aid for abandoning nuclear aspirations, North Korea will retort that is clearly announced temporary suspension. US negotiators badly needed domestic political effect, a major diplomatic victory to offset the Iraqi fiasco, and promised North Korea a million tons of oil to play up to America. Soon, America and North Korea will accuse each other of cheating and spiral hostilities. The political time horizon is too short to care about consequences.
Japan gave a lesson to Israel when refused aid to North Korea because it holds a few abducted Japanese civilians. Israel pays the Palestinian government which abducted her soldier.