[Marxism] Public Prep Begun for US Invasion of North Korea-WOMD Excuse Again

Tony Abdo gojack10 at hotmail.com
Thu Apr 29 21:27:53 MDT 2004


How the press manages to cover-up for Bush on this planned pre election 
'surprise' is really too incredible to believe.  The antiwar movement needs 
to mobilize NOW to stop this from rolling forward.  The demand now should 
be... NO WAR AGAINST NORTH KOREA!

It's really very, very soon that antiwar forces must mobilize, or it will be 
soon just be too damn late.  This is not like the verbal threats against 
Iran and Syria, the US government plans to go ahead with this one.  Bush has 
said that the US is to be taken seriously, and North Korea is to be the 
prime example for that. This is to be the big US lesson for China, and the 
rest of the world, too.

Cold War Part Two is what the US ruling class learned they need to cure the 
Vietnam Syndrome.  'National Security' has returned big time.  And Bush will 
go ahead with it, believable or not.  And Kerry and the Democrats will 
follow along in servile line.   To Bush and Gang, if there is no risk taken, 
there is no gain.

Tony Abdo
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N. Korea Nuclear Estimate To Rise
U.S. Report to Say Country Has At Least 8 Bombs
By Glenn Kessler
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, April 28, 2004

The United States is preparing to significantly raise its estimate of the 
number of nuclear weapons held by North Korea, from "possibly two" to at 
least eight, according to U.S. officials involved in the preparation of the 
report.

The report, expected to be completed within a month, would reflect a new 
intelligence consensus on North Korea's nuclear capabilities after that 
country's decision last year to restart a nuclear reactor and 
plutonium-reprocessing facility that had been frozen under a 1994 agreement. 
Among the evidence used in making the assessment is a detailed analysis of 
plutonium byproducts found on clothing worn by members of an unofficial U.S. 
delegation that was allowed to visit North Korean nuclear facilities several 
months ago.

The increase in the estimate would underscore the strides North Korea has 
made in the past year as the Bush administration struggled to respond 
diplomatically while waging a war against Iraq in an unsuccessful effort to 
search for such weapons there.

Intelligence officials also have broadly concluded that a separate North 
Korean uranium-enrichment program will be operational by 2007, producing 
enough material for as many as six additional weapons a year, one U.S. 
official said.

With Democrat John F. Kerry's presidential campaign planning to highlight 
the dangers of nuclear proliferation, the leap in Pyongyang's nuclear 
capabilities during President Bush's tenure could leave the administration 
vulnerable to charges that it has mishandled the North Korea crisis. Experts 
said an arsenal of eight weapons means that North Korea could use its 
weapons to attack neighbors, instead of merely deterring a possible attack.

But some Bush administration officials believe the new estimate will help 
pressure North Korea's neighbors to back the U.S. position that Pyongyang's 
weapons programs must be dismantled without concessions. During a tour of 
Asia two weeks ago, Vice President Cheney warned that time is running out 
for diplomacy as an increasingly cash-strapped North Korea might seek to 
peddle its nuclear technology or fissile material -- including, Cheney said, 
to terrorist groups.

The estimates are guesswork based largely on circumstantial evidence, and 
administration officials in several agencies have yet to agree on specific 
numbers. The Energy Department has pressed for a higher estimate of North 
Korea's weapons and the Defense Intelligence Agency believes the uranium 
program will be operational at the end of this year, but the State 
Department's intelligence arm has been the most skeptical. The differences 
in the estimates depend in part on determinations about the power and 
efficiency of the North Korean design.

Work on the report began late last summer, after the first round of 
six-nation talks on the North Korea crisis, when various government agencies 
sought a unified position on the extent of Pyongyang's programs. Much of the 
report will not be made public, but its conclusions will guide official 
statements on North Korean capabilities.

In many ways, the official U.S. estimate of "possibly two" weapons lags 
significantly behind private-sector reports.

The International Institute for Strategic Studies in London concluded this 
year that North Korea's nuclear arsenal could reach four to eight bombs over 
the next year and increase by 13 bombs per year by the end of the decade. 
The Institute for Science and International Security in Washington recently 
estimated that North Korea has a maximum of eight or nine weapons.

"It's long overdue for them to do something," David Albright, president of 
the Institute for Science and International Security, said of the 
administration.

Albright said that the January visit of the unofficial delegation -- which 
included Siegfried S. Hecker, a former director of Los Alamos National 
Laboratory -- brought back evidence that North Korea has reprocessed all 
8,000 spent fuel rods that had been held in a cooling pond under a 1994 
agreement negotiated by the Clinton administration.

In late 2002, Pyongyang evicted international inspectors observing the pond 
after the United States suspended shipments of fuel oil because, officials 
said, North Korea had nullified the 1994 deal by having a clandestine 
uranium program.

In February, CIA Director George J. Tenet told Congress: "The intelligence 
community judged in the mid-1990s that North Korea had produced one, 
possibly two, nuclear weapons. The 8,000 [spent fuel] rods the North claims 
to have processed into plutonium metal would provide enough plutonium for 
several more." Tenet added that North Korea is "pursuing a production-scale 
uranium enrichment program" using technology provided by A.Q. Khan, a 
Pakistani metallurgist who recently admitted to making millions by providing 
nuclear equipment and know-how to other countries.

The delegation members provided samples of the clothing they wore during 
their tour of the Yongbyon facility, when the North Koreans showed Hecker a 
jar that they said contained recently reprocessed plutonium. Albright said 
traces of plutonium byproducts, such as americium, that collected on the 
clothing could be analyzed to indicate how recently the plutonium had been 
processed.

"I think it is generally accepted the North Koreans are probably telling the 
truth when they say some reprocessing activity took place," said Gary 
Samore, a weapons expert who was the principal author of the London 
institute's report.

The earlier estimate was based on calculations derived from the amount of 
plutonium North Korea was believed to possess -- about seven to 11 kilograms 
-- and the new estimate essentially reflects the number of additional 
weapons North Korea could produce from the plutonium derived from the 8,000 
spent fuel rods. The calculation in part depends on determining how much 
plutonium is lost during reprocessing.

Albright said he reached his estimate of a maximum of nine weapons by 
calculating that North Korea possesses about 37 to 39 kilograms of plutonium 
and would need at least four kilograms per weapon.

U.S. officials have said Khan told interrogators that in the 1990s the North 
Koreans showed him three devices they identified as nuclear weapons. The 
report, which has not been confirmed, would suggest North Korea was more 
efficient in its use of plutonium than previously thought.

But Samore said he thought it was implausible that North Korea would show 
its weapons to an outsider, let alone keep them all in one place. He added 
that it was in Khan's interest to assert that North Korea already had 
nuclear weapons when he began supplying materials for the uranium-enrichment 
program.

© 2004 The Washington Post Company

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