Thursday, January 1, 2015

North Korean Nuke Report (Updated)

Kim Jong-un (ABC News)
Kim Jong-un (ABC News)
Updated January 1, 2015 - Disturbing videos (below) about North Korea's nuclear weapons and how it threatens to use them. An opinion piece in the Chicago Tribune today reminds us that the threat from North Korea should not be laughed off. Rather, it should be taken as deadly serious:

"While the world's attention focuses on North Korea's cyber war with Sony, the Hermit Kingdom is rapidly increasing its stockpile of nuclear weapons material, with little real pushback from the United States," wrote Josh Rogin and Eli Lake for the Chicago Tribune. "North Korea is estimated to have 30 to 34 kilograms of weapons-grade plutonium now, enough for around nine nuclear weapons, depending on the size of each bomb. Last year it conducted its third nuclear weapons test."

The Tribune opinion piece raises this disturbing question: "Why does a targeted cyber-hack draw a tougher response from Obama than the amassing of a small nuclear arsenal?" and notes that "The message that sends to Pyongyang is that it can threaten the entire region with nuclear weapons, just so long as it doesn't touch Hollywood."

The first video is from 2009 when Kim Jong-Il was still alive and in power. The second video below, from 2013, shows how his son Kim Jong-Un continues the madness. The third video here, from 2014, reports that "North Korea might have a nuclear weapon that's small enough to be placed on a missile." And that's no joke, as Lora Moftah points out in an excellent report at International Business Times. Moftah makes it very clear just why North Korea is a threat to be taken very seriously. As recent as August [2014], North Korea threatened to attack the U.S. with nuclear force in response to a joint military exercise with South Korea. The threat was preceded a few weeks earlier with a direct warning by Pyongyang that it would fire nuclear-armed rockets on the White House and the Pentagon." Really, no joke.