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Jun 9, 2005 6:42 am


Topic for Debate



Mr Kim told ABC News Pyongyang had"enough nuclear bombs to defend against a US attack." For the full story go here.

If true, is this a good or bad thing? And would the world now be a better or worse place if Iraq had had enough nuclear bombs to defend against a US attack in March 2003?

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Jonathan Dresner - 6/9/2005

I think the statement is a priori evidence that Vice-Foreign Minister Kim Gye-gwan doesn't understand either the US, military power or the use of nuclear weapons. Does he mean that NK has enough weapons to destroy the US and the means to deliver them? That's not plausible, though it's possible that he thinks that's the case. Does he think nuclear weapons have some sort of defensive utility: say, by creating a radioactive cordon across the DMZ that would be difficult for (ground troops) US forces to cross? Or is he thinking of them as a dead-man device, useful for denying attackers "the prize" of useful, occupied territory?

Fundamentally, the concept of nuclear weapons as "defensive" needs some real reconsideration.

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