North Korea fallout

Great article by Joseph Cirincione from the Center for American Progress in Salon.com:

We have suspected for more than 15 years that North Korea has separated plutonium from nuclear reactor fuel for use as the core of a nuclear bomb. If the test there on Monday of a nuclear device proves to be authentic, North Korean scientists will have demonstrated that they have designed an explosive casing that can compress plutonium to critical mass, triggering an explosion. North Korea will have become the world’s ninth nuclear-armed state.

The Bush administration appears divided over how to respond. Yet, despite some internal dissent, hard-liners in the administration have controlled the U.S. approach to North Korea since Bush took office. That approach has brimmed with tough talk and threats, while scorning diplomacy as a badge of weakness. The White House refuses to negotiate directly with North Korea — but it has no viable plan, military or otherwise, for stopping further tests. North Korea’s provocative move is the latest evidence that Bush’s strategy for preventing the global spread of nuclear weapons has failed.

The greatest danger is not that North Korea would attack us or our allies with this new capability, or even that they would provide a nuclear weapon to terrorists. Kim Jong Il would know that the response to the use of a North Korean bomb by him or his surrogates would end his life, his regime and a good part of his country. The greatest danger is what happens next in the region — and the specter of a new arms race that could fast spiral out of control. more

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Errington C. Thompson, MD

Dr. Thompson is a surgeon, scholar, full-time sports fan and part-time political activist. He is active in a number of community projects and initiatives. Through medicine, he strives to improve the physical health of all he treats.

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