Saturday, June 13, 2009

North Korea Pushes Forward with Nuclear Weaponization, Despite New Sanctions

Via -

North Korea, calling itself a "proud nuclear power," vowed today to forge ahead with its nuclear program in defiance of the latest United Nations sanctions resolution.

In a statement released by the Foreign Ministry, North Korea said it intended to weaponize its remaining stockpile of plutonium and to pursue uranium enrichment.

Bluster is the stock and trade of the Pyongyang government's propaganda machine, but coming on the heels of an apparently successful nuclear test May 25, the threats are chilling. Weapons analysts believe that North Korea, despite its abject poverty and isolation, has made remarkable technical progress in recent years putting together a workable nuclear weapon.

"Some people do believe that their claims are credible," said Daniel Pinkston, a Seoul-based analyst with the think tank International Crisis Group.

Siegfried Hecker, a former director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory who has toured North Korea's nuclear facilities, wrote in a recent article for Foreign Policy magazine's website that North Korea is "on a well-planned trajectory to enhance its nuclear and missile capabilities."

North Korea's latest rhetoric volley was prompted by the unanimous passage Friday by the 15-member U.N. Security Council of a sanctions package that would allow interdictions of North Korean vessels on the high seas.

"It has become an absolutely impossible option for [North Korea] to even think about giving up its nuclear weapons. It makes no difference . . . whether its nuclear status is recognized or not," North Korea said in the statement.


Read more over at the BBC.

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