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Pentagon Holds Plan to Bomb NK Nuclear Facility

Posted April. 22, 2003 22:24,   


The Pentagon has produced detailed plans for bombing North Korea`s nuclear plant at Yongbyon if the rogue communist state goes ahead with reprocessing spent nuclear fuel rods, reported The Australian yesterday.

The Pentagon plan emerges from the assessment that reprocessing of spent rods could provide North Korea with enough plutonium for six nuclear weapons by October, the newspaper also stated, citing a well-informed Canberra source close to the U.S.

The elaborate Pentagon plan, according to The Australian, involves a U.S. strike against North Korean heavy artillery nestled in the hills above the border with South Korea.

The paper also contended that "Pentagon hawks believe precision strikes envisaged in the plan would not lead to an all-out war it would be certain to lose. The U.S. would inform the North Koreans it was not aiming to destroy the regime of Kim Jong-il, but merely to destroy its nuclear weapons capabilities."

They have also repeatedly promised not to invade North Korea, although the language does not rule out the surgical strike envisaged in the Pentagon plan.

However, the newspaper added that the Bush administration has made no decision regarding this possible action.

In an interview with ABC Radio, Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer said that there would be no doubt that the Pentagon has been considering all military options it could exercise.

He stressed that coming up with contingency plans falls within the boundary of the duties of the military. But he also emphasized that the Bush administration`s strategy is to resolve the matter diplomatically.

"If progress in any form is made on the diplomatic front, the United States will not strike the North Korean regime," added Downer.

Eun-Taek Hong euntack@donga.com