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Nuclear domino effect, with North Korea’s latest attacks

…..….there’s a possibility, which is that more and more states will use their nuclear weapons as a back-street mugger might use a handgun. That’s something the world needs to think about real hard, and real soon.

North Korea attacks: Are we skipping towards a nuclear apocalypse?, Daily Telegraph,  By Praveen Swami World  November 23rd, 2010 Eight weeks after 9/11, the Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir sat down for a meal of bread and olives with Osama bin Laden in Kabul. “I wish to declare,” bin Laden told him, “that if America uses chemical or nuclear weapons, then we may retort with chemical and nuclear weapons.”

That nightmare scenario has haunted governments, and Hollywood, ever since 2001 – leading the world to miss a far more dangerous nuclear threat. North Korea’s attack on South Korean forces stationed on Yeonpyeongdo island underlines the seriousness of the global nuclear threat, something many of us fondly imagined had ended with the Cold War.

It isn’t that the Korean fighting signals the coming of an East Asian nuclear apocalypse – but it does demonstrate just how nuclear weapons fundamentally transform geopolitical equations.

No great imagination is needed to understand what North Korea now seeks. South Korea is one of the engines of Asian prosperity, on which the world’s hopes of an early economic recovery rest. By attacking an island of no strategic value, North Korea’s dysfunctional but eminently rational regime is telling the world how much pain it could inflict if it isn’t bribed to behave itself. Both sides want wealth, not war – and nuclear weapons are North Korea’s means to extract it.

North Korea’s weapons don’t have to be particularly reliable or accurate to deter retaliation. Five kilograms of pentaerythritol tetranitrate, al-Qaeda’s explosive of choice, will blow apart an aircraft. Five kilograms of Plutonium 239, the primary material used for the production of nuclear weapons, will annihilate an entire city…….

South Korea officially ended a four-year-old nuclear weapons programme in 1975, but the UN’s nuclear watchdog recently discovered its nuclear scientists secretly mastered key weapons production technologies.

Iran’s nuclear programme has set off a similar nuclear domino effect in the west of Asia. Mohamed Khilewi, a Saudi diplomat who defected to the US in 1994, claimed the Kingdom had funded Pakistan’s nuclear programmes to gain access to a weapon if needed. If Turkey’s relationship with the West sours, as some fear it already is, it could be next to follow……

………there’s a possibility, which is that more and more states will use their nuclear weapons as a back-street mugger might use a handgun. That’s something the world needs to think about real hard, and real soon.

North Korea attacks: Are we skipping towards a nuclear apocalypse? – Telegraph Blogs

November 24, 2010 - Posted by | North Korea, politics international | , ,

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