North Korea's Real Aim May Be to Peddle Nukes to Others
Sale of weapons, info is true threat from secretive regime
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted May 26, 2009 6:44 AM CDT
South Korean President Lee Myung-bak talks with his US counterpart Barack Obama on the telephone in Seoul, Tuesday, May 26, 2009.   (AP Photo/Yonhap, Jo Bo-hee)
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(Newser) – North Korea's nuclear test yesterday makes it no likelier that the rogue state will actually launch a weapon of mass destruction, argues AP analyst Robert Burns. What it does suggest is something perhaps even scarier: that the regime may facilitate the nuclear ambitions of other state actors or even of terrorists. The cash-strapped North has a history of selling nuclear secrets to foreign buyers, and diplomacy has so far failed to halt its program.

President Obama said yesterday that the US and other nations have to "stand up" to Pyongyang, but it's unclear what methods the president can use to hamper a regime impervious to sanctions. One Harvard professor suggested that Kim Jong-Il has long been underestimated, and his actions remain unpredictable. "Could this guy believe he could sell a nuclear bomb to Osama bin Laden?" he said. "Why not?"