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Sunday, September 12, 2004

I just read that North Korea seems to have tested an atomic bomb.
I told Elisabetta (my wife). Then I tried to reassure her saying it has been suspected for a long long time that they have two atomic bombs and maybe this means they have only one left. She said "If they had only two what is the chance that they would blow one up?" I claimed that it is pretty high because they are totally crazy. Then I gave up trying to reassure anyone.

Good thing Bush was dealing with gathering threats in Iraq while Powell and Cheney argued about what to do about North Korea and never reached agreement.

Recall the North Koreans told the Bush administration that they had started a program to enrich uranium (to gradually replace the old program to extract Plutonium stopped by the agreed framework negotiated by the Clinton administration). The Bush administration did not bother to inform congress of the public because they didn't want any distraction from the Iraq resolution.

A Wide World of Trouble
While Bush pushes war against Iraq, new threats loom from Al Qaeda and North Korea. Can we fight on all these fronts?

by Michael Hirsh, Tamara Lipper and Michael Isikoff (With John Barry in Washington, Christopher Dickey in Paris, Joe Cochrane in Jakarta and Mark Hosenball in London) | Oct 28 '02

All these gathering dangers--and headaches--help explain another of last week's quandaries: why an administration that for months has been straining to prove that Saddam Hussein is developing nukes revealed only under pressure that it had ironclad proof of North Korea's nuclear program. The White House revealed it had learned over the summer that North Korea--like Iraq, a member of Bush's "Axis of Evil"--had a secret uranium-enrichment program for bombmaking. Even more amazingly, the White House said Pyongyang had admitted this two weeks before, on Oct. 3, yet the Bush team came out with the news only when reporters were about to break the story (officials say they delayed because they were consulting with allies on what to do). A day later White House reporters were told President Bush would not discuss North Korea, with one official acknowledging "it is not something we want to elevate." Said another: "This is an administration with a pretty full plate; we would like some things taken off.""


"JOHN KING, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Aaron, it's quite complicated. The White House tells us that North Korea is now admitting that it has an active nuclear weapons program, breaking a 1994 promise to the United States. As the administration debates what to do about that, the president's urgent focus remains on another member of what he calls the axis of evil, Iraq."

Have a nice day.

update: Seems the current guess is that the event was an accidental explosion of rocket fuel. Powell is convincing. Sorry to panic.

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