Monday, October 16, 2006

DPRK: the suitcase bomb threat

One year ago, Molten Eagle brought up suitcase nuclear bombs. Besides Iran, North Korea (the DPRK) may soon be in the running to supply the stealth nukes to customers with terrorism in mind. There are hundreds of delivery methods for these weapons in addition to walking across our borders with them. The one most concerning is by hot-air balloon event. Submarine delivery would be another possibility (recall the Japanese mini-subs attacking Pearl Harbor).

November 9, 2001 -
"I'm not overly concerned about the suitcase bomb threat," said Jon Wolfsthal, an associate with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. "The U.S. intelligence services have very high confidence that Russia has accounted for all its nuclear weapons."

earlier, 2006 -
"Only a nation with an extremely advanced nuclear program could manufacture warheads small enough to fit into a suitcase."
"The smallest nuclear warhead manufactured by the USA was the W54, used for the Davy Crockett warhead which could be fired from a 120 mm recoilless rifle, and a backpack version called the Mk-54 SADM (Small Atomic Demolition Munition). While this warhead, with a weight of only 51 lb (23 kg), could potentially fit into a large suitcase, it would be a very tight fit."

The explosive power of 1 kiloton of TNT — not much by the normal standards of a nuclear weapon would do tremendous physical damage (many, many times more than the 0.002 kilton explosive used on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in 1995. source

earlier today -
A US military aircraft collected air samples on 11 October, two days after Pyongyang made its announcement of a successful test. The apparently small size of the explosion had led to doubts over the veracity of North Korea's claim. Mr. Negroponte's office confirmed that a nuclear explosion with a yield of "less than a kiloton" took place. (bold emphasis added)


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