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North Korea: After successfully testing a missile capable of launching a satellite, Pyongyang works toward a nuclear warhead small enough for it to carry an electro-magnetic-pulse weapon of our worst nightmares.
When North Korea orbited a failed satellite in December aboard an Unha-3 long-range missile, it was treated in some quarters as a stunt of no real significance or threat. The last Stalinist regime on earth had no deliverable warhead small enough to place on this missile which itself had no great accuracy.
Serious observers, however, noted that any nation capable of putting an object in orbit could deliver an object to any point on the plant, and the ability of North Korea to develop a missile warhead would be a question of when, not if.
The announcement by Pyongyang that it is readying a third round of nuclear tests and that a "nuclear test of a higher level" would be carried out, most likely refers to a device made from highly enriched uranium, which is easier to miniaturize than the plutonium bombs it tested in 2006 and 2009, said Cheong Seong-chang, an analyst at the private Sejong Institute in South Korea.
Stanford University professor Siegfried Hecker, who was shown the North's modern uranium enrichment facility during a visit to the country in November 2010, has warned that a third North Korea nuke test could put it on the road to the miniaturization necessary to create a missile-capable warhead.
"If North Korea conducts a third nuclear test, that will be very risky," Hecker told a forum in Seoul. "If another of the North's nuclear tests is successful, I believe that North Korea will succeed in the necessary miniaturization within a few years."
Even so, skeptics say, the U.S. already has in place the missile defense, the once-maligned "Star Wars" technology of President Ronald Reagan's dream and developed by prior administrations, to shoot down a solitary missile with a solitary warhead aimed at the U.S.
Read More At IBD: http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/012513-642051-north-korea-...