US - North Korea:
On The Nuclear Brink?
Will Nuclear One-upsmanship Result in
a Proliferation of Preemption?

Mainstream Media Project

Beginning August 27, senior Bush administration officials will join Japan, Russia, China, and South Korea in talks with North Korea. In exchange for a verifiable end to its nuclear weapons program, Pyongyang wants the protection afforded by a non-aggression pact. Washington says it will put assurances in writing, but stops short of promising a Senate-ratified agreement.
Pyongyang - already cast as a member of the "Axis of evil" - is wary of the Iraq treatment - pre-empting diplomacy for deployment in a dance that could clearly end on the nuclear brink.
This month, on the 58th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing, cabinet members, scientists, Pentagon officials and weapons contractors met to discuss plans to develop the next generation of nuclear weapons - a meeting from which members of Congress were barred. These "mini nukes" have a special application to "rogue" states and organizations as proposed by the White House's 2001 Nuclear Posture Review. Will the DPRK find itself on the short list of possible targets?
* North Koreans are still falsely taught that the Korean War began with a U.S. invasion across the 38th parallel - making the nation wary of "another U.S. attack"
* North Korea admits developing material capable of making one or two nuclear warheads
* The U.S. has 10,729 nuclear warheads and spends $27 billion/year preparing to fight a nuclear war
* Destroying a deeply dug target would require a 100 kiloton nuclear blast - a force 10 times the Hiroshima bomb which has so far killed 231,920 people
Are states pursuing nukes to deter U.S. pre-emptive strikes? Does it run counter to U.S. interests to pursue new nuclear weapons while trying to prevent others from obtaining them? Will U.S. pursuit of these weapons provide incentive and legitimacy to the development of like programs elsewhere?
The Mainstream Media Project offers the following guests for live or taped interviews:
John Burroughs (DC): Executive Director, Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy; Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as applying to North Korea and the U.S.; international law and nuclear policy
Leon Sigal (NY): (limited availability) Director, Northeast Asia Cooperative Security Project, Social Science Research Council; author, "Disarming Strategies: Nuclear Diplomacy with North Korea
Peter Hayes (CA): Co-director, Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development; what policies might work in negotiating with North Korea; security affairs in the Asian-Pacific region
Natalie Goldring (DC): Executive Director, Program on Global Security and Disarmament, University of Maryland; international arms trade, arms control; U.S. defense budget and expenditures
David Albright (DC): Physicist; President, Institute for Science and International Security; assesses secret nuclear weapons programs; effects of potential nuclear attacks, nuclear non-proliferation
Michael Levi (DC): Science and Technology Fellow in Foreign Policy Studies, Brookings Institute; cooperative threat reduction programs, nuclear terrorism, missiles




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