posted on Nov, 10 2003 @ 06:30 PM
By John M. Donnelly
North Korea's nuclear-weapons tests have been sufficiently sophisticated to "validate" the design of Pyongyang's nuclear weapons, the CIA said in
a previously unpublicized document.
The CIA statement, contained in an unclassified Aug. 18 letter to Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence,
appears to be the agency's first public description of North Korea's nuclear testing program, experts said.
The letter takes issue with the notion that North Korea would need to conduct a detectable nuclear test, as India and Pakistan did in 1998, to prove
its atomic weapons could work. The CIA suggests, without saying so outright, that North Korea may have a credible nuclear deterrent today.
"We assess that North Korea has produced one or two simple fission-type nuclear weapons and has validated the designs without conducting
yield-producing nuclear tests," said the CIA letter, signed by Stanley Moskowitz, the agency's director of Congressional Affairs.
"Press reports indicate North Korea has been conducting nuclear-weapon-related high-explosive tests since the 1980s in order to validate its weapon
design(s)," the CIA said. "With such tests, we assess North Korea would not require nuclear tests to validate simple fission weapons."
Another nuclear power in the world. Whoop-de-#in'-doo.