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Tue Feb 12, 2013, 08:30 PM

North Korea’s Lesson: Nukes for Sale

This discussion thread was locked as off-topic by OKNancy (a host of the Latest Breaking News forum).

Source: New York Times

By GRAHAM T. ALLISON Jr.

THE most dangerous message North Korea sent Tuesday with its third nuclear weapon test is: nukes are for sale.

The significance of this test is not the defiance by the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, of demands from the international community. In the circles of power in Pyongyang, red lines drawn by others make the provocation of violating them only more attractive.

The real significance is that this test was, in the estimation of American officials, most likely fueled by highly enriched uranium, not the plutonium that served as the core of North Korea’s earlier tests. Testing a uranium-based bomb would announce to the world — including potential buyers — that North Korea is now operating a new, undiscovered production line for weapons-usable material.
-snip-

Hence the grim conclusion that North Korea now has a new cash crop — one that is easier to market than plutonium. Highly enriched uranium is harder to detect and therefore easier to export — and it is also simpler to build a bomb from it. The model of uranium-fueled bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945 was so elementary, and its design so reliable, that the United States never bothered to test one before using it. Yet it killed more than 100,000 people. As the former secretary of defense Robert M. Gates put it, history shows that the North Koreans will “sell anything they have to anybody who has the cash to buy it.” In intelligence circles, North Korea is known as “Missiles ‘R’ Us,” having sold and delivered missiles to Iran, Syria and Pakistan, among others.


Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/12/opinion/north-koreas-lesson-nukes-for-sale.html?_r=0



Despite the yawns and the snarky comments this test evoked earlier today on DU, it sounds like this could be the beginning of a terrible new direction for terrorism, loose nukes and stability among the nuclear nations. President Obama may well be speaking about nuclear threats tonight in the SOTU address...

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Reply North Korea’s Lesson: Nukes for Sale (Original post)
FailureToCommunicate Feb 2013 OP
calimary Feb 2013 #1
Katashi_itto Feb 2013 #2
dhol82 Feb 2013 #3
defacto7 Feb 2013 #5
olddad56 Feb 2013 #8
ThoughtCriminal Feb 2013 #4
defacto7 Feb 2013 #6
olddad56 Feb 2013 #7
David__77 Feb 2013 #9
OKNancy Feb 2013 #10

Response to FailureToCommunicate (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 08:43 PM

1. Scary indeed.

Sheesh. Sometimes I wonder just how much time we all have left, considering the nutcases and extremists and desperation cases and vendetta cases with whom we share this planet.

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Response to calimary (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 08:52 PM

2. Looks like NK will have an accident soon. A nuclear one.

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Response to calimary (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 08:54 PM

3. yup, totally agree


still surprised we haven't had any kind of major attack here in the states.

kim jung-un is truly his father's child. looks like these crazies are ramping up to get enough of the material to start a bidding war.

only thing that might stop them, by way of commentary i heard on npr this morning, is that china has them by the short hairs. if the chinese decided that they might be a threat to, well, at least china, then they can impose more impressive sanctions than any we have tried. let's hope they realize the crap that might happen if this shit gets out to any terrorist group in the world.

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Response to dhol82 (Reply #3)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 10:39 PM

5. I'm not convinced China has anything to loose

with a nuclear weaponized NK. China attacks US infrastructure, government and businesses through Internet espionage almost every day. It wouldn't surprise me if China actually encourages NK to use the bomb for political means against the west. I have had hopes for China to become an ally for some time but the current attacks give me pause in that regard.

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Response to dhol82 (Reply #3)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 11:10 PM

8. "kim jung-un is truly his father's child"

hmmm sort of like GW.

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Response to FailureToCommunicate (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 09:09 PM

4. I'm very skeptical of the Uranium speculation

I think it is more likely that North Korea is setting off very crude plutonium devices based on the discarded "Thin Man" gun design from the Manhattan Project. It would explain the low yields and require only a very crude design.

Such a device would not likely lead to a successful warhead that could be placed on a bomber or missile, but is creating the desired political effect not only for North Korea's dysfunctional leadership. In the West, supporter for very costly missile defense systems enjoy playing up the claim that the North Koreans are testing mini-nuke designs that could be fitted to their relatively crude ballistic missiles.

In fact, it may be that the devices they are creating would be a challenge to load onto a railroad car, much less the top of a rocket, and are not likely to provide experience that would help them develop more sophisticated implosion designs. It's a dead end.

All of this is non-professional speculation on my part, but the limited amount of data seems to fit.

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Response to ThoughtCriminal (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 10:52 PM

6. I think you are probably right.

There is no reason to believe they have gone to Uranium or even miniaturized their weapon. Without clear evidence it's very difficult to make any case for either. It's much cheaper to saber rattle and let's face it, they are prone to hyperbole. No, I'll call it what it is... they are prone to lie.

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Response to FailureToCommunicate (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 11:08 PM

7. the North Koreans will “sell anything they have to anybody who has the cash to buy it"

Hmmm.. sort of sounds like another country I know, especially during the Reagan years.

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Response to FailureToCommunicate (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 04:39 AM

9. The response of the US should be to drop sanctions, enact a peace treaty, and establish relations.

Not as a result of the test per se - this would always have been the right course of action.

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Response to FailureToCommunicate (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 04:49 AM

10. I'm sorry but this is an opinion article - Locking

( and it says so right in the link)
You could post it again if you want in Good Reads or GD


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