Why Some US Leaders Want a North Korea Nuke Test
May offer much-needed glimpse at Pyongyang's capabilities
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jan 31, 2013 10:57 AM CST
South Korean protesters shout slogans during a rally against possible nuclear test by North Korea in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013.   (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

(Newser) – A North Korean nuclear test sounds 100% bad, right? Not according to some US intelligence officials, who the New York Times reports would like to see it happen. Their reasoning is simple: A test would offer a rare opportunity to assess Pyongyang's nuclear advancements. It's been years since the US has been afforded a clear view of the country's progress, and experts say officials may have misjudged the potency of the plutonium bombs tested in 2006 and 2009. A new test could reveal whether the country is now capable of building a uranium bomb or creating a warhead to fit on a long-range missile.

"We know a lot about their programs, but not the most important part: How far along are they? And we won’t know that until they test," says a George W. Bush administration official. The US is already poised to observe, with what the Times calls "sensitive sniffing devices" attached to reconnaissance planes. Also watching: Iran. "They want to see how it works, and they want to see how North Korea is treated by the rest of the world if they do another test," says an expert. Iran is giving its nuclear centrifuges a massive upgrade. (In other North Korea news, Kim Jong Un reportedly told the military to "be ready for a war.")

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Showing 3 of 16 comments
Feb 5, 2013 9:56 AM CST
why not we are probly funding them to we fund everyone but our own.
Feb 3, 2013 7:37 AM CST
Isn't this like saying "We need kids to shoot each other at school so we can see what guns they have access to"?!? But then, we must remind ourself we're dealing with "The Intelligence Community" who have supplied ample proof of their lack of same.
Feb 1, 2013 6:10 AM CST
So would South Korea and Japan get down on this or would we end up going at it alone...again?