Saturday, October 14, 2006


There has been a lot of speculation over whether the North Korean nuclear test actually occured or if it was a hoax. In my opinion, it doesn't matter either way. What does matter is that North Korea says it has a nuclear weapon and that it works.

I think a threat should always be taken seriously and North Korea has issued a threat. Whether they can follow through on their threat or not is their problem. Our response to it should be that any missile launched from North Korea in our direction will be assumed to be carrying a nuclear warhead and will be shot down or failing that will result in a nuclear strike on North Korea.

I think North Korea did in fact conduct a nuclear weapons test. The magnitude of the explosion is questionable but it was still a nuclear weapon. The detection or not of radiation from the NK test is not a good indicator of the success of their test. We tend to think of nuclear test in terms of the ones we have conducted which were devices of many mega tons.

The depth of the test and the magnitude of the explosion will play a major role in the amount of radiation in the atmosphere. A relatively small explosion very deep under ground may not release any radiation at all.

Bottom line. We have to assume the North Koreans do have a nuclear weapon and that they are willing to use it.


Blogger copy editor said...

I like your point about any missle launch from North Korea. They conducted a series in July, and some policy pundits advocated shooting it to pieces. Now might be the time to establish a red-line and to enforce it. We could also do that (in effect increase pressure almost unilaterally) by enforcing a near-blockade based on the UN Resolution.

I want to see a major military build up by the Japanese though. That's where we could see 10 - 30 years of dividends. It would be one of the oddest strategic relationships between two former enemies, but it would be a nice island addition to our bond with England (also a former enemy).

You know how pessimisstic I am on Iraq, but the administration can do a lot for the long-term good of this country by working on close relationships with important countries right now.

5:07 PM  

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