North Korea is believed to be preparing its first test of a uranium nuclear weapon--Pyongyang's previous nuclear tests used plutonium. Click here to read more.
As the Reuters article makes clear, there is no civilian purpose for such a test. Nor was there a peaceful purpose to Pyongyang's plutonium device detonations. North Korea clearly intends to become a producer of nuclear bombs and warheads--its scientists and technicians have been working on miniaturization--and proving that it can use enriched uranium instead of plutonium to manufacture the weapons is a significant step forward for the "military-first" regime.
Iran Also Benefits
There is an Iranian hand in the North's uranium push. Should Iran decide to end its nuclear standoff with the West by accepting an agreement that will make it possible for the mullahocracy to stop its suspect uranium enrichment activities while leaving intact both an ability to secretly make several nuclear weapons at short notice and a presumed stockpile of dirty bombs, the regime would like to be able to outsource nuclear weapons production to its proliferation partner. Bombs and warheads can be smuggled; and nuclear-tipped missiles can be concealed in shipping containers and fired at coastal cities from seemingly civilian cargo vessels, using camouflaged launch systems that Iran and North Korea are believed to have already tested.
Endnote: Kimist/Communist North Korea and clerical fascist Iran will never scrap their nuclear arms programs altogether. They will stall and play for time--and play the useful idiots of the West like violins. Eventually, North Korea and Iran may even enter into phony arms control agreements. But they will never really disarm. Both rogues have learned from their common ally, Castroite Communist Cuba, that atomic arms can be used to extract a non-intervention commitment from the United States; and the regimes have also learned--by watching what happened to Libya's late leader after he abandoned weapons of mass destruction--the importance of preserving credible WMD capabilities. (Cuba is believed to have built up a formidable arsenal of biological weapons--another story.)
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