How Are Those Sanctions Working Out?

Apparently, the West’s sanctions regime doesn’t seem to be slowing down North Korea’s nuclear program.

Why We’re Always Fooled by North Korea

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.

See also:
A Return Trip to North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Complex
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

Dénouement Coming

Iranian nuclear weapons soon to be a reality?

In direct defiance of an international plan to curb Iran’s nuclear program, Iran’s president announced that his country will enrich uranium to a much higher level.

This could put Iran on the road to arming a nuclear warhead within months.

Iran denies any interest in developing nuclear weapons; however, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made a comment in a recent speech addressing Iran’s enrichment program that implies a program that addresses much more than enrichment for power purposes only:

“I declare here that with the grace of God, the Iranian nation will produce 20 percent fuel and anything it needs itself.”

Iran’s current uranium stockpile is at 3.5 percent, and according to Ahmadinejad, Iran is now ready to enrich it to twenty percent which is the grade needed to power a small medical research reactor in the Iranian capital.

Uranium at low levels of enrichment can be used for fuel, but enriched to ninety percent and higher, it becomes weapons grade. The major world powers have been trying to persuade Iran to ship its uranium abroad for processing into fuel for their “research reactor”.

Iran agreed last October that it would ship its uranium out of the country for processing, but has since balked and now refuses to follow through and has presented counterproposals to keep the uranium supplies in Iran – shipping abroad would leave Iran without enough uranium to produce a bomb.

Ahmadinejad vowed that Iran would enrich the uranium itself.

Between thirty to seventy pounds of weapons grade (enriched to ninety percent or above) uranium would be needed to produce a nuclear bomb. Iran currently is in possession of 3,300 pounds of low-enriched uranium (3.5 percent) — enough to produce highly enriched material for two such weapons.

The Institute for Science and International Security – familiar with Iran’s nuclear endeavors – state the process of moving to twenty percent enriched uranium from 3.5 would take months, but from twenty percent to weapons grade would only require an additional couple of weeks. The ISIS went on to state that Iran could be enriching to higher levels within months after reconfiguring and testing its centrifuges, the machines that spin uranium gas into enriched material.

See also:
Defiant Iran vows to enrich uranium even more
Iran to Enrich Uranium to Higher Level
Iran Releases U.K. Sailors and Details Uranium Plans
Iran President Says Nuclear Enrichment Will Grow
Iran will enrich uranium to 20%: Ahmadinejad
Ahmadinejad: Iran will enrich uranium to higher levels
Germany: Iran uranium plans go in wrong direction
IAEA says not informed of Iran’s enrichment plans
Iran “Not Obliged” to Tell IAEA Of Home – Made Sites
Ahmadinejad Says Iran Can’t Be Isolated as U.S. Mulls Sanctions
Sanctions against Iran over nuclear issue not to work: president
Institute for Science and International Security
Institute for Science and International Security

At this point, we’re so many chapters into this book that there’s there’s only a few ways left that the plot line can continue to unfold.

/and none of them end happily ever after