Sunday, September 15, 2013

North Korea and Nuclear Weapons

From Smithsonian Magazine:
Last February, North Korea detonated a nuclear weapon, the third test in its incredibly controversial nuclear weapons program. Then, it spent months and months posturing—threatening to resume its war with South Korea, targeting U.S. bases with long range missiles and releasing a highly provocative propaganda video depicting an attack on America. The countdown to war came and went, and North Korea’s displays just sort of faded away. But last night brought a twist: North Korea may have booted up its mothballed nuclear reactor, set to resume plutonium production and expand its nuclear arsenal.

If North Korea has restarted its nuclear program, says the New York Times, it would fly in the face of decades of work meant to stop exactly that. It also wouldn’t be particularly unexpected. North Korea, says Sung-Yoon Lee to the Times, has a “timeworn tactic of raising tensions to remind its adversaries that it is a menace that needs placating, then pushing for economic and diplomatic concessions.” (Read more.)

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