North Korea’s Nukes

NORTH KOREA’S NUKES….Barron YoungSmith comments favorably on North Korea’s decision to blow up the cooling towers of the Yongbyon nuclear reactor:

This is a momentous step because it’s largely irreversible: North Korea will never again be able to kick out inspectors and start reprocessing plutonium in a matter of days, as it did in 2003.

Of course, we don’t know if Kim’s decision was affected by the fact he now has a nuclear arsenal. North Korea may very well renounce its nuclear program, but keep the 8-15 bombs it produced during George Bush’s “I’m not talking to you” phase (cir. 2001-2006).

That’s true. On the bright side, though, North Korea’s 2006 nuclear test was a major league dud. Now, obviously even a poorly-designed nuclear bomb isn’t something you want going off in your backyard, but a low-yielding nuke too heavy to deliver via ICBM isn’t really all that great a deterrent. It’s not out of the question that the North Koreans might eventually decide to declare their arsenal of bombs and trade them away as long as we keep John Bolton at bay and continue talking.

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