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North Korea Has One or Two Nukes after Conducting High Explosive Tests

North Korea Has One or Two Nukes after Conducting High Explosive Tests

Posted November. 09, 2003 23:02,   


The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) confirmed on November 8 that North Korea has produced one or two nuclear weapons and has validated the designs with high explosive tests which fall short of full atomic tests.

According to the intelligence documents by the CIA submitted to the Special Intelligence Committee to the Senate last August, “We do not have the exact evidence that Pyongyang has successfully operated a nuclear test,” revealed the CIA and added “However, we assess that North Korea produced one or two fission-type nuclear weapons and validated the designs without conducting yield-producing nuclear tests leaving no nuclear test trace.” The CIA also said that they did not see why Pyongyang had any reasons to do a nuclear test.

The Federation of American Scientists (FAS), an anti-nuclear group, obtained and recently revealed the intelligence documents, which was written by the CIA in reply to questions posed by senators in February.

The FAS included the documents made by the State Department`s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), as well as the CIA’s to the Senator on its reports. The following contents are major contents related the South and North Korea in the replied documents.

The Purpose of the Pyongyang’s Nuclear Policy = (CIA’s answer)

We assess North Korea intentionally increased tension to take the lead in the diplomatic negotiating table and to benefit from the conflicts caused by its enriched uranium program by expelling the investigation team of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and withdrawing from the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and Pyongyang.

We assess that Kim Jong-il considers his nuclear weapons action as a deterrent to the U.S.’ attack and enforce his power in dealing diplomacy with neighboring countries such as South Korea and the U.S.

North Korea’s Possibility to Use Nuclear Weapons = (I.N.R.’s answer)

It appears that Pyongyang will use the nuclear weapons as the final straw when it sees the regime’s critical threat. North Korea will keep the brinkmanship diplomacy reminding its nuclear abilities to the U.S. and the international community to pressure them. Considering the dire economic situations and its history of exporting military weapons, including middle and short-range missiles, we expect the possibility of Pyongyang’s export of nuclear technology and nuclear materials. It appears that North Korea has more nuclear materials than it actually needs for its purpose and will likely sell those extra materials to foreign buyers when it assures the transition’s safety.

The Prospect of South and North’s Unification = (DIA’s answer)

The possibility for reunification within five years is low. We assess the unification procedure will be peaceful although it does not guarantee an orderly way. Neither of the two sides, South and North Korea, sees war as a solution to their uneasy relations, so expecting any war possibility is not valid.

Kim Jong-il’s Power Dominance = (DIA’s answer)

His power dominance appears firm. We do not have reliable inner circle sources in the regime, but we highly assess the possibility that his successor will come from the military power group.

The Outlook of North Korea = (DIA’s answer)

There are no symptoms that the North Korean regime is losing its control over the people. It appears that the Pyongyang’s future will depend on external influences such as the nuclear standoff and the relation with the South Korea rather than its inner conflicts.

(I.N.R.’s answer) We do not see that the North Korean regime will sustain the way it is now, but it is still early to say that North Korea’s collapse is imminent. In the 1990s, many people expected North Korea would not sustain its regime, witnessing the collapse of the European communism and the death of Kim Il-sung. However, Kim Jong-il exerted a practical leadership, which provided him the skills to manage the challenges ahead of him. He was aware of that he could win international aid if he used the fear of neighboring countries on Pyongyang’s instability, and he willingly stretched his hands for help.

The Anti-American Sentiment and the Influences of the U.S. Force’s Withdrawal = (D.I.A.’s answer)

The high U.S.-anti sentiment in late 2002 has weakened, but the undercurrent of Anti-U.S. sentiment has been intact and strengthened by various methods. It depends on South Korean leaders’ policy and their political maturity whether the sentiment will threaten the U.S.-South Korean alliance or not.

The withdrawal of U.S. forces in the Peninsula will have deep impacts on its regional security, whatever the scenario will be. If the U.S. forces leave South Korea, which does not seem to likely, the relations between the U.S., South Korea, Japan, China, and Russia will go through a serious re-examination process. Even if the withdrawal happens under the close consultation, the impacts will be enormous. But it will bring much less impacts if the two closely discuss the matter.