North Korea Responds

In reaction to yesterday’s UNSC resolution North Korea has vowed to throw off the restraint it has shown so far in its nuclear weapons development program:

North Korea has declared it will weaponise all its plutonium stocks and threatened military action against the United States and its allies after the UN security council imposed new sanctions to punish Pyongyang for last month’s underground nuclear test.

A spokesman for the country’s foreign ministry today acknowledged for the first time that North Korea is developing a uranium enrichment programme and said it would be “impossible” to abandon its nuclear ambitions.

In a defiant statement, the spokesman said that “the whole amount of the newly extracted plutonium [in the country] will be weaponised” and that “more than one-third of the spent fuel rods has been reprocessed to date”.

The ministry said the country had successfully started a programme to enrich uranium for a light-water reactor.

[…]

The regime is believed to have enough plutonium for at least six nuclear bombs. It has around 8,000 spent fuel rods that if reprocessed could allow the country to harvest 6-8kg of plutonium — enough for at least one nuclear bomb, according to analysts.

Imagine what North Korea can do if it doesn’t have one hand tied behind its back! That would leave one hand free with which to do weapons development.

I don’t mean to scoff at the threat that North Korea poses to peace in its region and U. S. interests there or even, possibly, elsewhere if it manages to export its small production of nuclear weapons. That’s a real threat and why interdiction is so important. What I’m scoffing at is the idea that the North Koreans have shown restraint so far. It’s difficult for a threat to have much force if we already believe they’re doing what they’re threatening to do.

I hope the interdiction policy extends to ships going to North Korea as well. With Iran proceeding in its pursuit of the “peaceful use of atomic energy”, the interactions between Iran’s and North Korea’s missile and nuclear development programs, and North Korea’s demonstrated nuclear weapons program, Iran’s possession of a complete domestic nuclear fuel cycle becomes more problematic.

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Dave Schuler
About Dave Schuler
Over the years Dave Schuler has worked as a martial arts instructor, a handyman, a musician, a cook, and a translator. He's owned his own company for the last thirty years and has a post-graduate degree in his field. He comes from a family of politicians, teachers, and vaudeville entertainers. All-in-all a pretty good preparation for blogging. He has contributed to OTB since November 2006 but mostly writes at his own blog, The Glittering Eye, which he started in March 2004.

Comments

  1. Eric Florack says:

    What I’m scoffing at is the idea that the North Koreans have shown restraint so far.

    That seems to me a key element that a lot of people aren’t figuring with…. and this applies to both north Korea, and Iran.

    We keep being told about how they don’t really want to attack us, that they lack the ability, and so on. You are quite correct in pointing out that they lack restraint.

    In short, if there was the slightest chance of pulling off an attack on the United States, or stirring up trouble in their own part of the world, both of these would do that. Without that restraint, it simply becomes a matter of time before they achieve the ability, due our lack of proper response.

    And, no, proper response does not include increased sanctions by the United Nations, but a given that they have never worked before, or we wouldn’t be having this pleasant little chat right now.

  2. An Interested Party says:

    In short, if there was the slightest chance of pulling off an attack on the United States, or stirring up trouble in their own part of the world, both of these would do that.

    So both countries are led by suicidal regimes? Surely they must realize what kind of retaliation they would receive if they directly attacked this country…

    And, no, proper response does not include increased sanctions by the United Nations…

    And what would a proper response be…

  3. G.A.Phillips says:

    So both countries are led by suicidal regimes? Surely they must realize what kind of retaliation they would receive if they directly attacked this country…

    An, They don’t care….

    And to what to do about it, Well ignoring it and writing letters ain’t doing poop, Lets see what the Pres. says.He is going to need all or prayers and support in this endeavor with the way NK is acting these last few days.

  4. Eric Florack says:

    So both countries are led by suicidal regimes?

    If we are to believe their words and their actions, yes.

    Surely they must realize what kind of retaliation they would receive if they directly attacked this country…

    But Allah is on their side, you see.
    Just because you think the action crazy doesn’t mean they’re not devoted to it.

    And Kim is a God-like figure in NORK, in case you’ve not heard. They’ll do about anything for them.
    In both cases the leadership may know what’s going on, then again if their full goes bozo as I suspect, they may not.

    Either way, as isolated as the general populations and both of those countries are, I have no doubt that they are completely ignorant of the kind of retaliation they will receive.

    That is, assuming that they care; and I have reason to believe that a large enough number of those in Iran, willing to sacrifice themselves in jihad, don’t.

  5. An Interested Party says:

    But Allah is on their side, you see.
    Just because you think the action crazy doesn’t mean they’re not devoted to it.

    And Kim is a God-like figure in NORK, in case you’ve not heard.

    Gee, thanks for those oh so keen insights…what would I have done without you informing me of those crucial details….

    Meanwhile, I seem to recall that during the darkest days of the Cold War, similar talk was bandied about concerning the apparatchiks in the Kremlin who had far more firepower than the tiny one in Pyongyang or the demagogue in Tehran…of course, such claims were also made of Saddam Hussein, and we all have seen how that’s turned out…

  6. Eric Florack says:

    Gee, thanks for those oh so keen insights…what would I have done without you informing me of those crucial details….

    Likely, nothing different. Clearly no facts will penetrate anyway.

    Meanwhile, I seem to recall that during the darkest days of the Cold War…

    Uhh.. no. These are not the Soviets.

    These are people even the Soviets had major problems with in both cases.

  7. An Interested Party says:

    Likely, nothing different. Clearly no facts will penetrate anyway.

    I was already aware of these details…what doesn’t penetrate is obviously my sarcasm…

  8. Eric Florack says:

    Nor, mine, apparently.