Thursday, October 12, 2006

Why I don't

Strange--with everybody and his/her mother commenting on the North Korean nuclear test, I find myself reticent to offer my two yen's worth.

That is saying something--because it is rumored that I have an opinion on EVERYTHING.

Still, a fundamental honesty about the depth of my ignorance prevents me from my usual pontifications.

Let us see if I can pass a simple test to tell whether or not I am worthy to speak about the nuclear test:

Section A: North Korea

1) We all know Pyongyang is the DPRK's largest city. What is the second largest?

2) How long is the DMZ? How wide is it?

3) What are the names of the major agricultural regions?

4) What is the name of the number 3 person in the hierarchy?

Section B: Japan-DPRK relations

1) What is the most valuable export, by total value, from the DPRK to Japan?

2) How much of this good was shipped at the peak of the trade? When was the peak?

3) How much money was being tranferred each year from Japan to the DPRK prior the 1998 missile tests?

4) How much money was tranferred in 2005?

5) How many North Korean passport holders have permanent residence?

Section 3: Disarmament and non-proliferation

1) What is the formula for calculating yield based on energy detected though ground motion?

2) What is the minimal amoung of plutonium necessary to trigger a chain reaction? What is the minimun amount of uranium?

3) What role does deuterium play in nuclear weapons production? What role does tritium play?

I do not know the answers to any of these basic questions.

I have never been to North Korea.

I indeed have never laid eyes on a single bit of North Korean territory.

So what do I know?

Fantasies, rumors, lies and wild, screamingly untethered guesses.

Not a good basis for analysis.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes, your conclusion is excellent, Monsieur Cucek.

I would even add this :
(René Descartes)

For a complete review of North Korea's nuclear program and what the world knows about it, I also highly recommend reading "Descartes et ses fables", which is to be published this month in Paris.
Only available in French: