Archive | WMD RSS feed for this section

Able Archer 83 And Armageddon

3 Jun

men of 1983: Reagan and AndropovEven scarier than the documents that still might be classified is the information revealed in documents the National Security Archive does allow the world to read.

According to a declassified National Security Agency history, American Cryptology During the Cold War, the “period 1982-1984 marked the most dangerous Soviet-American confrontation since the Cuban Missile Crisis.” The secret history recounts that “Cold War hysteria reached its peak” in the autumn of 1983 with a NATO nuclear-release exercise named Able Archer 83, which — according to a CIA Special National Intelligence Estimate – caused “Soviet air units in Germany and Poland [to assume] high alert status with readying of nuclear strike forces.”

Despite the ramifications of this possible nuclear miscalculation, the history of the Able Archer 83 war scare has remained largely unavailable to the public. This dearth of primary sources has even led critics — with some justification — to describe the study of the war scare as “an echo chamber of inadequate research and misguided analysis” and “circle reference dependency,” with an overreliance upon “the same scanty evidence.”

Continue reading

Messages In A Missile

20 May

nk short range missileThe good news is, that North Korea didn’t launch medium-range Musudans – which would seem to undermine the symbolism of inviting Isao Iijima to Pyongyang, and then ignoring the Park administration about Gaeseong. Saturday’s morning and afternoon short-range missile launches by North Korea were a message, but what did they say, and to whom?

On one hand, there’s the North Korean people.

Short-range missile tests by North Korea are quite common, the last one having taken place about two months ago. Firing off the missiles Saturday might have been a face-saving move by the government in Pyongyang, under intense international scrutiny over its next move, an analyst said.

Continue reading

No Laughing Matter

11 May

Blustering HeadWe live in a world where a state with an economy the size of Senegal has nukes.

Pyongyang’s weapons probably aren’t meant to carry out nuclear threats, analysts say, but instead to protect against perceived outside hostility while extracting diplomatic and aid concessions. Pyongyang insists that it needs nuclear weapons to defend against a U.S. attack. Washington insists it has no such intention.

Here’s how one prominent analyst sees the future of Pyongyang’s atomic arsenal. North Korea’s leaders have been closely studying their nuclear history, and Pakistan, which helped Pyongyang’s nascent nuclear program and which built its own atomic arsenal outside international treaties, is probably an inspiration, said Hahm Chaibong, president of the conservative Asan Institute in Seoul.

Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: