May 31, 2008

THEY SHOULD BE REGIME CHANGED FOR INTERNAL, NOT EXTERNAL, REASONS:

U.S. may have overestimated North Korea's plutonium (Helene Cooper, May 31, 2008, NY Times)

An 18,000-page declaration submitted by North Korea to the United States is stirring debate about whether U.S. intelligence agencies previously overstated how much plutonium the Pyongyang government might have produced for its nuclear weapons program.

Bush administration officials have declined to comment on the declaration, which State Department officials say will take weeks to wade through, but they have indicated that North Korea is acknowledging it produced 37 kilograms of plutonium, or about 81 pounds.

That total would be more than the 30 kilograms that North Korea has acknowledged previously, but somewhat less than the 40 kilograms to 50 kilograms that U.S. intelligence agencies had calculated it had produced. Estimates on how many nuclear bombs North Korea could wring from its plutonium program have ranged from 6 to 10.


Yet they have none.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 31, 2008 7:39 AM
Comments

An 18,000 page "declaration"?

They shhould be regime-changed for that alone.

Posted by: ratbert at May 31, 2008 8:46 AM

Is lead in this really, "North Korea said it made 37 kg rather than the 40 to 50 kg that the US estimated, how were those numbers so wrong?"

Posted by: John Thacker at May 31, 2008 9:42 AM

A Pu bomb is much harder to blow up than a U235 bomb. The tolerances for the sphere must be very precise, else you get a fizzle, which is what happened to the NoKo test.

Unlike Pu, the shape of the U235 doesn't really matter once it reaches critical mass. A simple rail-gun will set it off.

Handling U235 is d*mn dangerous. In the 1950s the US and USSR abandoned U235 bombs because they were too unstable to keep around. But if you don't care about the occassional 'work accident', well..

Iran is going to give NoKo all the U235 they want, so the Pu will be moot.

Posted by: Gideon7 at May 31, 2008 9:51 AM

Yes, they're a threat only to themselves.

Posted by: oj at May 31, 2008 12:10 PM

They may have it, but delivery is the difficulty, as is the obvious retaliation. Kim Jong-Il is beyond parody, but I can't see him wanting immolation.

Couldn't put on theose Busby Berkeley musicals if that happens.

Posted by: Mikey at June 1, 2008 12:20 PM
« TO BE AMERICAN...; | Main | ANYONE KNOW HOW TO FILE THOSE HUMAN RIGHTS CHARGES?: »