Now that I have spent part of my weekend bolstering my superficial knowledge of sub-atomic physics, chain reactions, beta and alpha decay, atom mass numbers, thermal neutrons and the like, I would like to ask a few questions:
If the North Koreans are so damned serious about developing ICBMs and a nuclear bombs for military purposes, why do they carry out the preparations for their tests in plain sight?
In both the recent cases of provocative escalations, the North Koreans carried out their preparations in full view of commercial satelittes.
Why would they do such a thing, when the information on satellite flyovers, both military and commercial, is available on the Web? The Indians were able to carry out their preparations without detection. Why don't the North Koreans? Are the North Koreans stupider than the Indians?
Why did the North Korean announce their intent to test a nuclear weapon in advance, via official channels?
Why did their big missile not work? Why was their atomic explosion so pathetically small?
Think, think, think!
What does Kim Jong-il want? What does his military brass really want? If the nation in peacetime does not have the ability to heat people's homes, light the cities, fuel the factories and design workable weapons, what will happen when it has to fight a real war? Where is the surplus capacity, the surplus civilian strength it will shift to warmaking?
Think, think, think!
The DPRK is a nuclear power that, as one newspaper writer noted, cannot manufacture its own bicycles!
Sweet Amaterasu, can we not think it possible we may be acting rash, or even like chickens with their heads cut off?
And do not give me any crap about the secret uranium program. It is a f----g pain to run a centrifuge cascade separating U235 and U238. There is no way an installation of sufficient size to produce a sufficient amount of enriched uranium for nuclear bombs could escape detection. The intelligence community has managed to identify every single hole of interest in the whole bloody country. If we are to believe the news reports, the cover on the uranium program was supposedly blown by satellite photos of a single C-130's load worth of equipment, for Amaterasu's sake.
Furthermore, why make the effort? Dissolving spent fuel rods to extract P239 is a snap, comparatively. Dictatorships are lazy; communist ones incredibly so. How does the DPRK impress foreigners? Through people-powered displays - jokey quadrangles of dancing soldiers and stadiums full of card flippers!
Sanctions? More sanctions?
How about pity, for a change?