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North Korea Working Hard on Nuclear Ambitions

John on November 21, 2010 at 3:39 pm

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Allahpundit mentioned this on Twitter and he’s right that it’s probably the most important story out there at the moment. From the NY Times, which is a great paper when it’s not acting as an arm of the DNC:

North Korea showed a visiting American nuclear scientist earlier this month a vast new facility it secretly and rapidly built to enrich uranium, confronting the Obama administration with the prospect that the country is preparing to expand its nuclear arsenal or build a far more powerful type of atomic bomb.

[...]

The scientist, Siegfried S. Hecker, a Stanford professor who previously directed the Los Alamos National Laboratory, said in an interview that he had been “stunned” by the sophistication of the new plant, where he saw “hundreds and hundreds” of centrifuges that had just been installed in a recently gutted building that had housed an aging fuel fabrication center, and that were operated from what he called “an ultra-modern control room.” The North Koreans claimed 2,000 centrifuges were already installed and running, he said.

[...]

Dr. Hecker did not initially mention the surprising discovery of the uranium enrichment operation as he left North Korea. He privately informed the White House a few days ago.

Also interesting is the speculation about how many weapons the Norks already have. I’ve seen published estimates of as many as six, but never this high:

The North’s current arsenal of 8 to 12 weapons are all based on plutonium.

If this is true, you have to be a bit worried about the Nork’s close connection with Iran and, perhaps more worrisome, with Venezuela. If the Norks already have a dozen low yield nukes, isn’t it possible they’d sell one (or plans for one) to Venezuela for the right price. There is already speculation that Venezuela is mining uranium for Iran. Having a nuclear device, even a small one, which could potentially be delivered through Central America and across our porous southern border should be worrisome to all of us.

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Category: Foreign Affairs |

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