Monday, October 09, 2006

Don't Test Me

Where does a guy have to get in line to condemn North Korea for their nuclear weapons test? The U.N. is looking into possible sanctions against Pyongyang. It occurs to me that if there was a penalty for having a silly-sounding capital city, then these guys wouldn't see a pair of jeans or a shiny new Euro for a good long time. But enough about my own personal xenophobia - let's get back to the nuclear test.
What, exactly, is up with that? What sort of test is necessary to get this kind of thing right? Hasn't it been done enough already? John Pike, an independent U.S. intelligence expert, said the small yield could mean Pyongyang tested only the primary segment of a two-stage bomb. In such a device, a small primary implosion of perhaps a kiloton would emit a stream of X-rays to trigger a secondary fusion implosion. "They basically need to see if they have correctly understood how to get the X-rays from the primary to the secondary. A full yield test of the secondary would not be necessary," said Pike. Oh. Okay.
The U.S. Air Force dropped a 12.5-kiloton bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima in 1945. Oh. And there's that. Analysts say North Korea probably has enough fissile material to make six to eight bombs but probably lacks the technology to devise one small enough to mount on a missile. The axis of evil needs a little help, it would seem.
They're not going to get it from President Pinhead. He called it a "provocative act" that threatened international peace and security and required an immediate response from the
U.N. Security Council. Dangerous? Scary? Sure. Provocative? That would be more a Paris Hilton type thing. This is just another step on the trail toward mutually assured annihilation.
Should we be worried? You bet. Here's a list of other things to worry you: United States, Russia, United Kingdom, France, People's Republic of China, India, Pakistan, and now North Korea have nuclear weapons. Iran, Israel, and Saudi Arabia might have nuclear weapons. Who do you trust?
Now some good news: South Africa, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and the Ukraine have given up their nuclear stockpiles. Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Egypt, Japan, Libya, Poland, Romania, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, The Republic of China (Taiwan), and what's left of Yugoslavia are now regarded as those who currently no longer actively developing, or possessing, nuclear arms. South Korea and Japan are currently rethinking that stand, however.
Perhaps we should have less condemnation, and more contrition. I suggest instead a program of nuclear confession. Bless me Father, for I have proliferated...

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Missed opportunities:

CTBT (Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty) - NOT ratified by the U.S. in 1999

Kyoto treaty - NOT ratified by U.S. either.

"I'll quit if you quit" -- someone needs to show leadership. That would be a real sign of national strength.

Robin said...

Reminds me of a Tom Lehrer ditty (even though it's a little out of date at this point):

First we got the bomb, and that was good,
'Cause we love peace and motherhood.
Then Russia got the bomb, but that's okay,
'Cause the balance of power's maintained that way.
Who's next?

France got the bomb, but don't you grieve,
'Cause they're on our side (I believe).
China got the bomb, but have no fears,
They can't wipe us out for at least five years.
Who's next?

Then Indonesia claimed that they
Were gonna get one any day.
South Africa wants two, that's right:
One for the black and one for the white.
Who's next?

Egypt's gonna get one too,
Just to use on you know who.
So Israel's getting tense.
Wants one in self defense.
"The Lord's our shepherd," says the psalm,
But just in case, we better get a bomb.
Who's next?

Luxembourg is next to go,
And (who knows?) maybe Monaco.
We'll try to stay serene and calm
When Alabama gets the bomb.
Who's next?
Who's next?
Who's next?
Who's next?