comsc US Politics | AMERICAblog News: Increasingly looking like test was a dud
Join Email List | About us | AMERICAblog Gay
Elections | Economic Crisis | Jobs | TSA | Limbaugh | Fun Stuff

Increasingly looking like test was a dud

| Reddit | Tumblr | Digg | FARK

My friends in the non-proliferation world are pretty confident that this was a failed test. Apparently it would have been difficult for North Korea to test a one-kilo nuke, as the standard -- and what they've always done -- is 20. The test reportedly yielded a sub-kiloton explosion, along with a radiological event, which makes it very likely that North Korea attempted a 20 kilo test and it failed. North Korea is, of course, claiming a successful test, but it's very much in their strategic interest to muddy the waters if the test did fail. (I owe a great debt for this analysis to ArmsControlWonk, which has crashed -- their post from this morning is now cross-posted here.)

HOWEVER. A failed test should not be confused with a victory for the U.S. or the international community -- this event marks a critical time for international diplomacy. The world may have briefly dodged a bullet, but we must take this opportunity to engage and deal with a threat that is clearly growing, though, thankfully, perhaps not quite as much as we thought just a few hours ago.

The whole world is working on how to react to this, and many nations will still look to the U.S. for direction. The North Korean diplomatic position is significantly weakened if, in fact, the test was a failure, which would mean that North Korea does not have a workable nuclear bomb design.

We can either take this opportunity to reengergize diplomacy and realize that we're still on the wrong course with North Korea, or we can continue along the same path that got us here in the first place. We can't let them off the hook, and what we do now may make or break the future of U.S. nuclear security. President Bush, the ball is in your court. Please don't blow it.

blog comments powered by Disqus