Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The Editors of the Sankei Shimbun Will Be Thrilled...

...until one of the staffers calms down enough to read paragraph four.

This fellow is quoted by the AFP (Spy agencies believe NKorea has nuke warheads ) as saying that unspecified intelligence agencies are convinced that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea possesses "five to eight" nuclear warheads capable of being mounted atop Nodong missiles in one or two day's time.

"Intelligence agencies believe the North Koreans have assembled nuclear warheads for Rodong missiles, which are stored at underground facilities near the Rodong missile bases," Pinkston told AFP.
Considering that the dude is a veteran of the Monterey Institute and he is now working for the International Crisis Group, this claim is really scary.

Of course, it would be a lot scarier if he not said, in the next paragraph.

"It might be right, it might be wrong -- but if others believe it is true, it has implications for the psychological aspects of deterrence," he said, describing the assessment as "quite significant."
I like that kind of reasoning.

Call me on AFP, please call on me!

"Intelligence agencies believe that Japan Prime Minister Taro Aso is the uncrowned king of the Telluridi, a race of space lizards that came to the earth long ago in search of refreshments and entertainment," MTC told AFP.

"It might be right, it might be wrong -- but if others believe it is true, it has implications for the psychological aspects controlling the timing of the House of Representatives election," MTC said, describing the assessment as "quite significant."
Maybe not.

Before getting hopped up about potential North Korean warheads small enough to be mounted on the nose of Nodong, I will await the analysis coming from Jeffrey Lewis and the gang.

Meanwhile the Kongō and the Chōkai will putter about, the PAC-3 missile men dispatched to the northern prefectures will scan the sky hoping nothing falls out of it (have they fixed the mobile phone band interference problem yet? That would be reeeeeally helpful) and everybody will pray that the DPRK's damn big firecracker either disintegrates before getting too high up or does exactly what the DPRK has been saying it will.

Later - Then again, the DPRK is not a state: it is a performance.


Our Man in Abiko said...

Your claim about Aso is spot on!

To Iu Wake said...

I'd give the man a break for being honest about the certainty of his sources. Intelligence is a tricky business, and some have notoriously used it falsely to enact policy e.g. WMDs in Iraq.

The US, USSR, France, England, and PRC all figured out how to mount rockets with nuclear warheads by the mid 60s (granted it's quite possible they "borrowed" the technology from the US), so it is very possible for the DPRK to have the technology in 2009.

It's a safer bet than Aso being a lizard, but it would be wise to wait for multiple confirmations on both stories. I don't think Aso is a lizard, but my brother's mother-in-law may be one. Sunbathing is very bad for the skin...

David said...

I have to read a bit more carefully...I glanced through that article this morning and never caught that line.

Jun Okumura said...

Incidentally, do you know how much of the Sankei online stuff actually appears in the hardcopy version? Sports and entertainment must be coming from Sankei Supootsu, and there's a lot of other stuff that couldn't possibly fit on any hardcopy pages without crowding out more newsworthy material. (I mean, does anyone besides the three of us actually bother to read the kisha kaiken transcripts? And the Tsushima Chronicles are downright eerie.