Skip to comments.Debating N. Korea nukes(How many? 15?)
Posted on 02/20/2005 6:12:16 AM PST by TigerLikesRooster
Debating N. Korea nukes
Intelligence officials can't agree on total bombs nation has in its arsenal, but highest tally is as many as 15
BY KNUT ROYCE
February 16, 2005
WASHINGTON - Defense Intelligence Agency analysts believe North Korea may already have produced as many as 15 nuclear weapons, according to a DIA official.
"A dozen to 15, tops," said the official, who asked to not be further identified.
Another intelligence official who works for a separate agency said the DIA's estimate is at the high end of a recent intelligence community-wide assessment of North Korea's nuclear arsenal. The CIA, he said, lowballed the estimate at two to three bombs while the Department of Energy's analysis put it somewhere in between.
Before the recent assessment, the upper number from the intelligence community had been eight to nine.
If the DIA's estimates are accurate, they reflect a belief that North Korea has steadily increased the production of bombs during the first four years of the Bush administration.
The large discrepancies between the estimates also reflect uncertainties about the size of the bombs and whether North Korea has begun producing some from highly enriched uranium, a process the country is believed to have acquired in 2002.
The CIA has been more skeptical that North Korea has had the resources or ability to build a large number of bombs. In 2001, for instance, then-Deputy Director John McLaughlin said the country probably had one bomb. In 2003, the agency wrote the Senate that North Korea had produced "one or two simple fission-type nuclear weapons."
One analyst who believes the DIA is closer to the mark than the CIA is John Pike, a defense expert for globalsecurity.org. "Two to three [bombs] imputes considerable stupidity to the North Koreans," he said.
(Excerpt) Read more at newsday.com ...
Ask the smartest woman in the world how many? Hillary knows everything.
Uh, not to bring up bad times, but didn't we once try to figure out how many WMD's another country had? Another country where we didn't have adequate spy assets? Another country where there was an absolute dictator?
We'd better get this one right....
Do you refer to the riot at Songrim Still Mill some 10 years ago? There was also a coup attempt by N. Korean 6th Corps in '96. Its planning was quite advanced. Hundreds of high ranking officers were involved, except the Corps commander. It was foiled unfortunately.
According to one report, the train explosion was the work of 8 mid-level officials who were given Chinese blessing after Kim Jong-il shafted Chinese by refusing to give up nuke during Kim's visit to China. The sources of this story all originates from China, that is, Chinese officials and researchers at government institutions. China was busy promoting the assassination angle starting right after the explosion. Later, they provided quite detailed accounts to S. Korean government. China seem eager to show that they are in full control.
I'll take 6-8.
Also, of course, the other key issue is DPRK short, medium and long range missile delivery systems, (range/accuracy) as well. At any rate, it is not just a Clinton Problem or a Bush Problem anymore.
It is a horrendous international security threat problem.
Well, good points. However, ANY nation that says the HAVE THEM (repeatedly), essentially engages in taunting, nuclear blackmail, shows indications through satellite and other information resources that they are continuing with them and other programs, has Western visitors who return from its facilities to the West with traces of procesed plutonium on their bodies and possessions, and finally, said regime is still in a Technical State of War with the United States, had better watch it...is all I can say.
Fact is...None have ever been tested.
What if Pakistanis did for them? They are kind of chummy.
i agree, its a possibility. However, I still see Iran's ideology and its attempts to gain nukes more threatening than North Korea.
The problem with anonymity is the lack of accountability and there is NO accountability to this non-story - it is a prepared leak.
I'm not sure, I read a good article about NK I will let you know If I found it...
There's a lot of countries that are under the missile footprint of NK, yet America is the one that has to solve the NK WMD "problem". NK missiles have the range to land on five nuclear powers. NK missiles threaten all of the ASEAN nations yet they are completely passing the buck in regards to this the threat and hoping that it will go away.
The notion that the NK problem will be solved with bilateral NK-US talks diminishes the significant NK threat to all of these neighbors.
We are talkin' major nuclear weapons proliferation in Northeast Asia by several countries, some of them new members, if DPRK don't knock off this shit.
Sorry, a typo:
Still Mill --> Steel Mill