China is concerned for the U.S.
The Chinese have told U.S. nuclear specialists that North Korea may have as many as 20 nuclear warheads, and has the domestic capability to reach 40 nuclear warheads by 2016 and 75 by the end of the decade, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
And while an arsenal like that is enough to affect regional stability, it is believed the North Koreans can now mount their nuclear warheads on their homegrown KN-08 ICBMs, with their 5600 mile range, and reach as far as California.
If that wasn’t problematic enough, North Korea managed to build up their nuclear aresenal and ICBMs after the 1994 nuclear agreement between North Korea and the Clinton administration, an agreement which was meant to halt their nuclear development capabilities.
North Korea tested their first nuke in 2006.
That deal which relied on IAEA verification was worked on by Wendy Sherman, who is now negotiating the current Iran deal.
James Baker described Sherman’s negotiating strategy as one of “appeasement”.
Until now, China underestimated North Korea’s capabilities, the WSJ reports:
Until recently, the Chinese “had a pretty low opinion of what the North Koreans could do,” said David Albright, an expert on North Korea’s nuclear weapons and head of the Institute for Science and International Security in Washington. “I think they’re worried now.”
If the next sentence sounds familiar to you, it should,
U.S. officials didn’t attend the meeting but some expressed surprise when they were later briefed on the details, said people familiar with the matter.
Talking about surprises and not knowing what was going on in secret nuclear facilities, let’s move on to Iran.
There’s a debate raging as to how long President Obama has actually known that Iran was far closer to nuclear weapons than he recently admitted, and as Prime Minister Netanyahu has been warning all along.
North Korea has been exporting their nuclear know-how and technology to Iran, Syria and other Mid-East countries for a long time.
The Iranians are very tight with the North Koreans and their nuclear program. Some believe Iran helped finance North Korea’s program, just like some believe Saudi Arabia financed Pakistan’s nuclear program. Essentially outsourcing the development and risk.
With the injection of signup bonus money and post-sanctions business into Iran, we may see larger investments in North Korea’s nuclear program.
But even if that wasn’t the case, the fact that North Korea was able to develop their nuclear arsenal under the US and China’s nose, despite the Clinton treaty, should be setting off alarms as to what Iran, who will probably use the same North Korean playbook as U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R., Calif.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee warns, will be able to do under Obama’s bad deal – with a lot more money in their pockets and freedom of action.