North Korea Nuke Facility Rattles Experts
'Our minds went blank,' says stunned Stanford scientist
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Nov 22, 2010 4:36 AM CST
Satellite image shows the Yongbyon nuclear facility in North Korea.   (AP)

(Newser) – American scientists were stunned by the advances North Korea has made in its nuclear technology, as revealed in its new facility, they told ABC News. "None of the experts that I knew predicted the North Koreans could build anything like this," said Stanford University scientist Robert Carlin, who recently visited the Yongbyon facility. "Everybody predicted they were at a very early stage. I'm not kidding you, I think our minds went blank for a second because it was so stunning. It's going to drop like a bombshell." Carlin reported seeing "row after row of centrifuges"—some 2,000 of them—used to enrich uranium.

North Korean officials insist Yongbyon will only provide nuclear power, but US authorities are suspicious the facility could quickly be converted to make highly enriched uranium for nuclear weapons—or may even be doing so now. What Carlin saw "alarmed" him because "it was such a surprise," he said. It demonstrated that policies to deter North Korea from developing nuclear technology "seem to be at a dead end," he added. Click here for more.