How should US perceive possible North Korea missile tests?
Debate over nation's possible nuke testing
- Duration 5:27
- Date Feb 4, 2013
Debate over nation's possible nuke testing
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By the United States and South Korea are kicking off some naval drills in a show of force the exercises are coming in -- new concerns that North Korea.
Is preparing to conduct another nuclear weapons tests in direct violation.
Of the United Nations that despite this the New York Times is reporting that some US intelligence officials.
Want to go ahead with the test what -- North Korea did this go ahead and do it thinking it will give us all a better sense.
-- whether North Korea is really getting closer to a weapon.
Beckett the -- and the US mainland joining us now grand Chang author nuclear showdown North Korea takes on the world.
And David Albright is with -- -- president of the institute for science -- -- national security.
And a former weapons inspector in -- starting with you just took us a recent look at North Korea.
And there are there weapons sites if you will what you think every American needs to know.
About what North Korea is doing with nuclear weapons today.
I think -- the most important saying this is worrisome that they they appear to be trying to.
To build a greater nuclear weapons capability and and we have to worry it's still.
Detonated and our nuclear explosion underground -- demonstrates.
That there are.
Better at making nuclear weapons more deliverable weapons we also have to worry that at some point to -- deploy -- overly deploy nuclear weapons.
As a signed they would view is to turn their neighbors but most neighbors would feel -- -- those weapons are direct threat to them.
So that were in -- -- very bad point right now where there the whole situation could escalate and and be much harder to roll back or limit North Korea's advancements on nuclear weapons.
And -- a quick follow up question treated because your Foreman was our former weapons inspector as well what do you think about this report that.
That apparently the intelligence I say it -- group is split.
As to whether or not they'd like to see the test -- our intelligence officials because they'd like -- just see where North Korea is acts.
With their program do you think that's why it's.
Thought well certainly I I think I'm in the can't it would like to know a lot more about what's erupt to when I've gone there.
I mean I have endless questions on the technical level and usually the north Koreans have to stop me before long before it used up my questions so.
It's natural but our political leadership has made it very clear.
They've warned North Korea not to test that it would be seen as provocative.
And they've committed.
The leadership is committed that they will increase sanctions on North Korea if it does to us.
And Gordon hasn't he stated that there is there's room to do if north -- and the doing mess.
What do you think is the right move for the United States to follow up on it.
I think the one thing we should do is stop subcontracting our security to the Chinese and the United Nations.
You know even if this was the right thing to do a few years ago.
Right now we're at a time as David says where the north Koreans will be able to weaponized their uranium and plutonium.
And we don't have that much time maybe five years so we've got to make sure that the north Koreans are disarmed.
Because they make very threatening statements against the United States and we know that they're not a status quo power which means that they have used violence to upset situations that they found to be unacceptable.
When they have nuclear weapons -- have much more ability to do that.
Does it the big picture I could David -- well -- worried about this technology about whether or not they have the warhead on the long range missile that can bring in nuclear.
Bomb if you will to the United States why would they do that -- -- would be their motivation to engage us in that way.
From their point of view they wanted to tourists say they feel threatened bias and they want to keep us from from him his sense threatening them.
There's also -- part of this is that they they depend on these weapons it's and it's a point of of strong national pride and and and that's one of things it makes it harder.
For them to stop is that they they benefit domestically from when they also.
Tend to use him in leverage in trying to negotiate our concessions from current state so they they found the weapons for use useful politically.
And economically and and not and it makes this a very difficult problem I would add I don't think they can put a warhead on a long range missile I think they've got a ways to go.
But I think -- our assessments that I -- we've heard this from other governments.
I think you have to give him credit that they can put a warhead on one of their shorter range from armed missiles like that no dawn.
And they haven't done it.
Are in an overt -- so I just think they are not Racine ahead.
They're moving ahead and I still think there's opportunities.
To try to either engage with -- it may involve after being putting pressure on him.
-- engagement until limits.
-- their their future growth in their nuclear weapons arsenal.
Betancourt and as you point out we're not the only ones watching North Korea.
Iran is also closely watching why is Iran watching an annual what do -- -- -- aware concerns beyond just North Korea -- and where they stand with their nuclear program.
You know Iran as watching and they've had observers on site in North Korea for the two prior particular test 20062009.
Because the north Koreans have been selling the Iranians ballistic missiles and nuclear technology.
That -- -- reactor that the Israelis destroyed in September 2007.
Paid for by the Iranians and certainly was North Korean technology so we see these joint missile and dead new programs between Iran and North Korea.
Very -- -- David -- great to have you both today thank you for your expertise.
Thank you thank you.