Apparently, the West’s sanctions regime doesn’t seem to be slowing down North Korea’s nuclear program.
According to Siegfried Hecker, the former director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, North Korea is working on two new nuclear facilities, a light water power reactor in early stages of construction, and a “modern, clean centrifuge plant” for uranium enrichment. Mr. Hecker visited the facility over the weekend and says it appears nearly complete.
The centrifuge plant is particularly significant because it could produce more than enough highly enriched uranium to make a nuclear weapon every year—and it may not be the North’s only such facility. North Korea’s artillery bombardment of the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong on Tuesday makes it doubly clear that Pyongyang intends to leverage its new nuclear breakthrough for maximum concessions from the international community.
This nuclear revelation is not an intelligence failure. Over the past decade, intelligence analysts have consistently predicted North Korea’s path to nuclear weapons and noted the increasing evidence of its missile and nuclear proliferation. The failure has been that of policy makers and pundits who denigrated the analysis, ignored it, or clung to the fallacy that North Korea would abide by a denuclearization deal.
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North Korean Uranium Plant Stokes Proliferation Worries
North Korea’s ‘Stunning’ Secret Nuclear Plant
Uranium Enrichment ‘Long Suspected’
N.Korea’s Uranium Enrichment Facility ‘a Ploy’
Pyongyang’s New Nuclear Facility Tests World Resolve
U.S. Calls North Korea’s Nuclear Revelation a ‘Publicity Stunt’
N. Korea uranium claim condemned
North Korean uranium enrichment no surprise (Rep. Pete Hoekstra)
U.S. scientist amazed by N. Korean nuclear facility
North Korea unveils sophisticated facility for enriching uranium
So, how are we responding to North Korea’s latest nuclear revelation? We’re not responding at all, as far as I can tell, not even a strongly worded letter.
/I guess we’re just going to let North Korea assemble all the nuclear weapons they want and hope they never use or sell them. not a particularly good strategy in my opinion
Filed under: Blog Entry Tagged: | Artillery Bombardment, Centrifuge Plant, Concessions, Denuclearization Deal, Highly Enriched Uranium, Intelligence Analysts, International Community, Light Water Power Reactor, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Missiles, North Korea, Nuclear Breakthrough, Nuclear Facilities, Nuclear Program, Nuclear Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Policy Makers, Pundits, Pyongyang, Sanctions, Siegfried Hecker, South Korea, The West, Uranium Enrichment, Yeonpyeong