Posts Tagged ‘Weapons Inspectors’

The Real News: American Nuclear Inspector Says Korean Nuclear Weapons Capability ‘Gross Exaggeration’

September 20, 2017

Trump’s extremely belligerent speech this morning threatening the North Koreans, and Iran and Venezuela, for that matter, with utter destruction is terrifying. It’s the ranting of a lunatic, who seems determined to push his country, and the world, to the brink of nuclear war. After all, when he first got into power he asked his general staff why America didn’t use its nuclear weapons on its enemies.

Trump is, however, responding to claims by the North Korea itself to have developed a hydrogen bomb and the missiles capable of delivering one to the US. This comes from an underground nuclear test that North Korea carried out on the 3rd of this month, September 2017. But this report by Sharmini Perez of the Real News argues that their claims of nuclear capability is ‘grossly exaggerated’.

In the video below, Perez interviews Robert Kelley, a member of America’s Atomic Energy Authority, and one of the UN weapons inspectors, who were sent to Iraq and Iran. Kelley makes the point that while North Korea is capable of building an atomic bomb using nuclear fission, it is highly debatable whether it has a hydrogen bomb, which uses nuclear fusion. The explosion, which Pyongyang claimed was a hydrogen bomb, occurred in a large underground cavern. They only have the North Koreans’ word that it was a fusion bomb. It could well have been an ordinary atomic bomb. It will only become clear which of the two the bomb was, when low level radioactive material leaks out of the cavern to be detected from the spy drones overflying the country.

The cavern is also so large, that it’s possible that the bomb that was used was actually to large to fit in the warhead of an ICBM. As for the picture of Kim Jong Un peering at a nuclear bomb, surrounded by various scientists and aides, the weapon shown could also be fake. It looks like a nuclear bomb, but the casing could be turned out by any metalworker’s shop within a few days. Kelley also observes that the device also has mistakes, which would indicate that it’s a mock-up, not a real weapon.

The missiles North Korea has, which it claims will be able to reach America, actually aren’t terribly convincing as weapons either. There’s a reason why North Korea has launched them straight into the air during tests: that’s the only way they can monitor their progress. The missile they launched that flew over Japan carried on for another 1,000 miles before disintegrating over the Pacific. But the North Koreans themselves had no way to monitor its progress, and only knew that it had because the Americans had, and had told them. They also don’t seem to have any real ability to guide the missile, so that if they did launch one in America’s direction, it could easily miss and hit Canada to the north or Mexico to the south.

Kelley states that while the country doesn’t appear to have a missile with a nuclear warhead capable of hitting America now, that doesn’t mean he isn’t worried that they could develop one. But for the present, they don’t seem to. He also explains the work of the two international atomic energy authorities, which have the task of monitoring the trade and use of nuclear materials.

The video also begins with a speech by Vladimir Putin expressing sentiments, which I’m sure the readers of this blog totally share: that the proper response to North Korea’s threats about nuclear weapons should be diplomacy, a view which Sharmini Perez also states at the end of the video.

Looking at this, it seems that Trump is threatening to start of another bloody war, if not a nuclear assault, because of a threat which seems to be mostly boasting by the Pyongyang dictator. Which doesn’t inspire confidence in him. He’s dangerously unstable, and should never have been given control of America’s nuclear arsenal. Perhaps it’s time he was ousted on medical grounds, before he can turn the world into a charred, nuclear cinder.

Private Eye on Obama’s and Cameron’s Impatience with UN Weapons Inspectors

September 6, 2013

This fortnight’s Private Eye (6th-19th September 2013)in its ‘HP Sauce’ section has a piece on the reasons Cameron and Obama have demanded that the UN weapons inspectors leave Syria so that they can begin bombing. According to the Eye, this is because the inspectors keep showing their claims of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction to be bogus. In 2003, for example, the Bush administration advised the inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency to leave Iraq so that they could commence the invasion. American and British intelligence had claimed that Saddam Hussein was importing uranium from Africa. The IAEA, however, demonstrated that the documents supporting this claim, the so-called ‘Niger Forgeries’, were indeed fake. Nearly a decade earlier, the Sunday Times ran a series of stories stating that Khidir Hamza, an Iraqi nuclear scientist, had tried to defect with proof that Hussein was building nuclear weapons. The Foreign Office believed that the evidence presented by Hamza was credible, and supported the hard line the government was taking with Hussein’s regime. This was again demolished by the IAEA, who showed that these documents were also forgeries. This important fact was not reported to the press, and Hamza went on to concoct even more fake stories of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction in the time preceding Bush’s invasion of Iraq. As a result, Britain and the US had Mohamed ElBaradei removed as head of the IAEA because of his independence, and continued to spy on the Agency. The Eye concludes ‘It seems much less likely that UN inspectors will contradict British assertions on Assad’s use of chemical weapons. But it looks as if Obama and Cameron can’t deal with an independent voice on Syrian war, as controlling both what is said and when it is said are crucial to building the shaky consensus for an attack’. In other words, Obama and Cameron are acting as totalitarian dictators in demanding absolute control of information in support of an invasion of independent country for their own ends. Just like Hitler and Stalin.

And just to remind people of the special relationship between Blair and Bush that allowed the Coalition to invade Iraq, here’s the video parody made for the Electic Six song, ‘Gay Bar’.