Saturday, September 27, 2008

North Korea Un-disables Reactor

Have I mentioned that the War on Terror isn't exactly simple? A bomb went off in New Delhi today, Somali pirates are demanding ransom for a Ukrainian ship and Russian tanks intended for Kenya, and now North Korea seems to be restarting its nuclear program.

Oh right: one more thing. North Korea's own Dear Leader, Kim Jong Il, isn't sick, and didn't have a stroke. Those are lies made up by the enemies of North Korea. According to a North Korean official, anyway. Healthy, ill, or dead, Kim Jon Il hasn't been seen since he missed that September 9 parade celebrating North Korea's 60th anniversary.

What is fairly certain is that North Korea is restarting its reactor (the one it dramatically deactivated back in June), so that it can process plutonium.

Odds are pretty good that North Korea has enough plutonium from its Yongbon reactor to make six nuclear weapons, once it's processed. And the capacity to process about one bomb's worth of plutonium every two months.

Now I read that it's America's fault. No news there.

And, that North Korea is building apartments and hotels on what for that country is a grand scale. It could be unrelated to the nuclear weapons program, but it's occurred to me that nuclear bombs are worth a certain amount of money. It's possible that North Korea has learned a lesson from the capitalists.

In the news:
  • "N.Korea says boosts self-defense from hostile U.S"
    Reuters via The Washington Post (September 27, 2008)
    • "UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - North Korea wants to press ahead with denuclearization of the Korean peninsula but is strengthening its 'self-defensive capability' in the face of hostile U.S. policy, a North Korean official said on Saturday.
    • "The U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency said earlier this week that Pyongyang was expelling agency monitors from its Soviet-era nuclear plant that produces plutonium and plans to start reactivating it next week, rolling back a disarmament-for-aid deal. ..."
  • "North Korea in the midst of a mysterious building boom"
    Los Angeles Times (September 27, 2008)
    • "Who's paying for the major face lift underway in Pyongyang? The impoverished nation says it is, but analysts are skeptical...."
    • "Even North Korea's most notorious clunker, an unfinished 105-story hotel that looms vacant over the city, is under construction again after sitting idle for nearly two decades.
    • "All are slated for completion by 2012, the 100th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il Sung. The deadline appears to have taken on new urgency for the appearance-conscious North Koreans, who fret that their capital has become a laughingstock.
    • " 'We know we need to modernize. We want to make the city comfortable for the people who live here and for tourists,' said Choe Jong Hun, an official with the Committee for Cultural Relations With Foreign Countries...."
  • "Officials: Korean nuclear mission for US envoy"
    Associated Press (September 27, 2008)
    • "NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. officials say an American diplomat plans to visit North Korea next week in a bid to salvage a faltering international effort to get the communist country to give up nuclear weapons....
  • "North Korea nuclear deal could break down"
    Reuters (September 26, 2008)
    • "SEOUL (Reuters) - International talks on ending North Korea's nuclear arms ambitions could be heading for a breakdown after Pyongyang said it would restore a plutonium- making plant, South Korea's foreign minister said on Friday...."
  • "North Korean nuclear plant seals removed"
    CNN (September 24, 2008)
    • "(CNN) -- North Korea has made another move toward possibly restarting its suspended nuclear program, the U.N. nuclear agency reports.
    • "At the reclusive nation's request, the International Atomic Energy Agency has removed surveillance equipment and seals from the Yongbyon nuclear facility, agency spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said...."

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.