2002 October 20 Sunday
North Korea as Nuclear Kmart

North Korea, which probably acquired nuclear technology from Pakistan, is already selling missile technology to Iraq, Syria, and Iran:

An abundance of nuclear technology in North Korea, long known for its ballistic missile sales, anticipates a nightmare domino effect, experts say. That argument is underscored by the likelihood that recent club member Pakistan, despite its denials, helped the reclusive east Asian dictatorship to the door.

''The concern is North Korea becoming a nuclear Kmart, complete with blue-light specials,'' said Jon Wolfsthal, a nuclear proliferation expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Of course the day will come where somewhere in the world there will be that bright flashing white ligh special. If North Korea is a nuclear KMart does this make Pakistan a nuclear Target?

Despite more than four decades of experience with advanced weapons and nuclear engineering, North Korea lacks the specialized manufacturing capability and know-how to build a gas-centrifuge facility on its own, weapons experts agreed. Many analysts pointed to Pakistan as a possible source of supplies and expertise.

This of course begs the question of just where else Pakistan has sold its nuclear technology. Iran and North Korea are helping each other in nuclear weapons development:

The American discovery that North Korea has successfully developed a nuclear munitions device, despite its international commitments to non-proliferation, has a Middle Eastern aspect. Part of the country's efforts to produce enriched uranium, as well as tests on its long-range missile engines, are being conducted in Iran, in exchange for Pyongyang aid to Tehran in these two areas as well as the concealment of such efforts from the United States' and North Korea's neighbors.

It seems odd that so much fuss is being about about North Korea's admission to having a nuclear weapons development program since the US government already believes that North Korea has nuclear weapons:

According to the Central Intelligence Agency and others, it is believed Pyongyang already has one, and possibly two, nuclear bombs.

U.S. diplomats have said North Korea made no indication why they were disclosing their illicit program. There is some speculation it did so to elicit more aid from abroad.

Why is it that there are people won't believe the obvious until the bad guys admit it right out of their own mouths? Similarly, there are people who will not believe that Saddam is developing WMD until the Iraqi WMD development labs are opened up by invading US troops. Why is that?

Andrew Sullivan has been posting on statements that the media and leaders made about the US-North Korea deal in 1994 on nuclear non-proliferation. Start here and then read here. Sullivan also includes Helen Thomas on Jimmy Carter's involvement in trying to negotiate the 1994 deal with North Korea. Finally, see what Andrew Sullivan just posted Monday morning.

Check out this Google News search on North Korea Iran nuclear if you can stomach more depressing news about WMD proliferation.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2002 October 20 11:16 PM  Axis Of Evil


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