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NIS Mentions Possibility of Dropping Nuclear Weapons By Air for the First Time

NIS Mentions Possibility of Dropping Nuclear Weapons By Air for the First Time

Posted February. 15, 2005 22:33,   


The National Intelligence Service (NIS) stated yesterday, “North Korea may have developed one or two conventional nuclear artillery warheads, but does not seem to have the technology to load and launch nuclear weapons via missiles.”

Believing in the premise that “whether Pyongyang possesses nuclear weapons is vague” at a covert gathering of the National Assembly’s Information Committee yesterday morning, the NIS reported the above assessment. The NIS also was criticized for augmenting the already augmented woes by the North’s nuclear declaration by openly discussing the possibility of an airborne nuclear attack for the first time.

Some opposition representatives, however, strongly criticized the unreliable information power of the NIS, saying, “Most (of what was discussed) is already known.”

If the North has Nuclear Weapons, they will be World War II Level –

At the gathering, an authority of the NIS judged that if North Korea does have nuclear weapons, they will be similar to those dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, in 1945 August via the B-29 bomber: 4.04 and 4.67 tons, respectively.

The NIS elucidated, “The warhead must be less than 500 kilograms to be loaded on missiles.”

The NIS is judging that it is impossible for Pyongyang to make nuclear warheads light enough to be suitable for loading on missiles with its current technology, and that they will be at least two to three tons.

The National Defense White Paper issued by the Defense Ministry says as well that the North’s technology is not delicate enough for loading nuclear warheads on missiles. Thus the Defense Ministry analyzes that the North must load the warheads onto an IL-28 bomber, which can load three tons maximum, and bomb them if it were to use them. An NIS authority also stated yesterday, “Pyongyang could have developed conventional nuclear weapons that it can load and drop via planes.”

Concerning the report by some foreign press agencies that Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, who took the initiative to develop Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, confirmed nuclear warheads loaded on missiles in North Korea, the NIS stated, “We don’t think it’s true.”

Is there any Chance for the Leakage of Pyongyang’s Nuclear Technology? –

The NIS did not give much weight to the possibility of an outflow of either nuclear materials or nuclear weapon development technology from North Korea.

An NIS authority responded at yesterday’s gathering, saying, “The chances are slim that Pyongyang has been leaking nuclear technology, and nearly zero that it will do so for the time being.”

When GNP Representatives Kwon Young-se and Kong Sung-jin asked back, “What is the reason for the optimism? Suggest evidence,” the NIS authority stepped back, saying, “It is hard to predict North Korea because it behaves like a rugby ball.”

The NIS was also attacked by GNP representatives for consistently giving principle answers to the question about how to pull Pyongyang back to the six-party talks, saying, “(We) can pressure Pyongyang through China and Russia.”

Sang-Ho Yun Myoung-Gun Lee ysh1005@donga.com gun43@donga.com