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View Full Version : North Koreans have the nuke?



kg034
2005-Feb-10, 09:10 AM
front page on CNN (http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/asiapcf/02/10/nkorea.talks/index.html), (I guess in accordance to prevailing winds in the USA), but not so explicit on BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4252481.stm)

Argos
2005-Feb-10, 12:18 PM
They´ve let the bird flee...

TriangleMan
2005-Feb-10, 12:41 PM
That is surprising - I thought they had at least one nuclear bomb for years. :-k

Wally
2005-Feb-10, 01:43 PM
I think it's been a widely held belief for awhile that they had a nuke, but this is the first time they've come right out and admitted they did.

editted to add: if only we could keep him focused on hair styles instead of nukes!

N C More
2005-Feb-10, 01:47 PM
That is surprising - I thought they had at least one nuclear bomb for years. :-k

Could very well be but now they're publically admitting it. This doesn't sound very good IMO.

mid
2005-Feb-10, 02:37 PM
(warning - the following may be interpreted in the UK as a request for a party-political discussion. I don't wish it to, and it is merely a speculative observation)

One possible reason for this is that the West are keen to stop proliferation by using force to break up nuclear programs. However, since nuclear retaliation is a pretty nasty thing to receive, they might be less keen to invade a company where it is 'too late'.

It's been speculated that the reason WMDs have been so hard to find in Iraq is that Saddam was using counter-espionage techniques to appear a stronger foe than he really was, in the hope that we'd be too scared to invade. So this might be the same.

On the other hand, it might be that they do have them. I don't want to be the one making that call...

Doodler
2005-Feb-10, 02:39 PM
Ah heck... that ain't good. Coming out and admitting it with you know who still in DC. Not good.

Wally
2005-Feb-10, 02:46 PM
Careful Doodler. . . you're walking a fine line there.

Scariest part of this whole thing is how mentally unstable this Mr. Kim seems to be. Heck, even China's not happy with all his postering, etc. That's gotta tell ya something. . .

Just looking at the guy. . . he just doesn't seem to have both hands on the wheel, if you know what I mean. . . :-?

Spacewriter
2005-Feb-10, 02:49 PM
I'm not so sure it should be a total surprise that they have one and admit it. Their economy is devastated by something and you can't just point to corruption. The money's going somewhere...

russ_watters
2005-Feb-10, 03:40 PM
I'm not so sure it should be a total surprise that they have one and admit it. Their economy is devastated by something and you can't just point to corruption. The money's going somewhere...
Whores, solid gold houses, and swiss bank accounts.

No, their economy isn't devistated by spending billions on a nuclear program, its devistated because its being run by one of the worst leaders the world has ever seen.

Regarding the N. Korean nuke, I'm not sure what to believe, but I'm leaning toward no. Yes, its possible that they have one. Its possible that his scientists have told him they have one but they don't (would you tell a psychopath you had failed?). And its possible that he's a scared little kid who thinks his only hope at remaining in power is to scare people.

Regardless, I wouldn't be too worried if I were Japanese or South Korean: without a successful test, I don't think there can be much confidence that what they have would work.

teddyv
2005-Feb-10, 03:52 PM
That is surprising - I thought they had at least one nuclear bomb for years. :-k

Could very well be but now they're publically admitting it. This doesn't sound very good IMO.

I also remember a year back that they had a bomb, but it was the size of a truck, nothing yet missile deliverable. If they get to that point then things will heat up.

Doodler
2005-Feb-10, 04:12 PM
Careful Doodler. . . you're walking a fine line there.

Scariest part of this whole thing is how mentally unstable this Mr. Kim seems to be. Heck, even China's not happy with all his postering, etc. That's gotta tell ya something. . .

Just looking at the guy. . . he just doesn't seem to have both hands on the wheel, if you know what I mean. . . :-?

Unfortunately, the whole idea is gray, but that's all I'm going to say about it. Its just not a good thing, under any circumstances.

frogesque
2005-Feb-10, 04:41 PM
I don't see any details about what sort of weapons (fusion/fission) or how they would deploy them but it would create more than a minor incident if they were to lob one over the fence into the South. With the North being so isolated now I also find it difficult to think of where they could test such a weapon unless its on their own soil. Maybe this announcement has as much to do with internal affairs as it does with the rest of the world.

Going to stop there because I see the big 'P' word on the horizon

jamestox
2005-Feb-10, 05:11 PM
I don't see any details about what sort of weapons (fusion/fission) or how they would deploy them but it would create more than a minor incident if they were to lob one over the fence into the South. With the North being so isolated now I also find it difficult to think of where they could test such a weapon unless its on their own soil. Maybe this announcement has as much to do with internal affairs as it does with the rest of the world.

Going to stop there because I see the big 'P' word on the horizon

My guess would be a plutonium weapon, since it could be produced from the Soviet style graphite reactors more easily than the uranium could be processed into weapons grade U235. Neither material is "easily" processed, but the plutonium would be more plentiful in the reprocessed reactor-fuel rods they supposedly began with. That's why we had two plutonium bombs ("Trinity" and the weapon used at Nagasaki) and only one uranium bomb at the end of WWII. An effective plutonium weapon is much more difficult to build, though; plutonium is notoriously finnicky stuff.

Of course, this may well be an internal affairs deal considering the "unrest" news that's leaked in the last month or so. He may be trying to "unite" his country based on its perceived military strength, and a nuclear "stick" is awfully strong.

jofg
2005-Feb-10, 06:03 PM
OK, let's assume the have a nuke and a delivery system. What are the realistic outcomes of this?

It's a deterrent against anyone invading or attacking them (although they seem to have a large enough military presence and the backing of China, so do they need an additional deterrent?)

Could it be used as a first strike weapon, and where or why? Maybe they launch it into SK before they invade - but they gotta know that by using a nuke they've opened themselves up for a retaliatory strike from the US. Or, do they think China would continue to back them and this would prevent the US from retaliation?

Or is the biggest/scariest outcome that KJII is crazy enough that he'll want to "leave a legacy" and launch an attack against the Japan or the US west coast?

Wally
2005-Feb-10, 06:16 PM
OK, let's assume the have a nuke and a delivery system. What are the realistic outcomes of this?

It's a deterrent against anyone invading or attacking them (although they seem to have a large enough military presence and the backing of China, so do they need an additional deterrent?)

Could it be used as a first strike weapon, and where or why? Maybe they launch it into SK before they invade - but they gotta know that by using a nuke they've opened themselves up for a retaliatory strike from the US. Or, do they think China would continue to back them and this would prevent the US from retaliation?

Or is the biggest/scariest outcome that KJII is crazy enough that he'll want to "leave a legacy" and launch an attack against the Japan or the US west coast?

Can't see him having the capability of launching all the way to the W. Coast of the US.

Not so sure China would be willing to back him if he chose to initiate an attack on SK either. Like I mentioned earlier, they've been pretty stern with his postering for the last few years. I think they see him for the whack job he is. . .

Celestial Mechanic
2005-Feb-10, 06:28 PM
Let them eat nukes.

Madcat
2005-Feb-10, 06:51 PM
That's the problem. They can't.

Doodler
2005-Feb-10, 06:58 PM
Can't see him having the capability of launching all the way to the W. Coast of the US.

They have a multistage missile that could reach western Alaska or Hawai'i, and an outside shot at the edge of the West Coast. KJII decided to yank Japan's chain a few years back and lob a test version over their territory.

Really, I think that's what this is. He's yanking chains for attention, and that's the part that scares me. Not so much what happens if someone reacts, but what happens if NO ONE reacts.

Obviousman
2005-Feb-11, 07:41 AM
Janes Security Sentinal of Feburary 2003 had this to say:

That NK was developing the Taepo-dong 2 (No-dong 3) ICBM. It was a two-stage missile expected to have a range of 4000-8000km, and carry a payload of 1000-1500kg.

From it's nuclear facilities, weapons-grade plutonium could have led to as many as 10 nuclear weapons. They were also pursuing a uranium-enrichment programme.