Should we worry about North Korea's (search) nukes?
Here's the Council on Foreign Relations questions and answers about the NoKos and nukes. Listen up and then you decide if you're worried or should be.
Question: What nuke weapons programs do the NoKos have?
Answer: They have the capability for plutonium weapons not uranium weapons.
Question: OK, do they have any of those plutonium-based weapons?
Answer: The CIA thinks the NoKos may have one or two of those weapons.
Question: Is North Korea trying to get the other type of weapon, the uranium-based weapon?
Answer: Probably. There is evidence it sought the equipment from Pakistan's nuke mule, AQ Khan (search).
Question: Aha, but how good is our information on the NoKos nuke weapons efforts?
Answer: Not so good. We can see things from satellites, but our spy network is almost nonexistent, evidently, so we don't know much other than educated guesses.
Question: Have the NoKos transferred nuke weapon technology into the hands of others, say terrorists?
Answer: Unclear, but experts say the transfer of weapons-grade plutonium from North Korea would be almost impossible to detect. So don't rest easy.
Question: What is the state of nuke weapons talks with the NoKos?
Answer: Not good. They jack us around.
Question: What is the state of U.S.-North Korea relations?
Answer: Well, the guy who called North Korean leader Kim Jong Il (search) crazy and said he starves his people has been named U.S. ambassador, so you figure it out.
Actually, that was my answer to that question, not the Council on Foreign Relations. But they say more or less the same thing, perhaps a bit less bluntly.
Question: Even if we make a deal with the NoKos, do they actually abide by their deals?
Answer: No, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton made a deal with them and they broke it. That's how they got their two or three nuke weapons. So, no, you can't trust 'em.
Question: What do the NoKos want?
Answer: They want us to promise not to attack North Korea.
I'm sure they want that. Iraq wanted that. France wants that. But considering the way the NoKos are behaving, my guess is that this is the last promise we would want to make.
That's My Word.
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