In our previous post, we looked at the possibility that the North Korean plan for a "smaller and lighter" nuclear strategy might involve portable weaponry in a cargo container. For over a decade, that possibility has been the
nightmare scenario besetting security experts. Even though this country has spent untold amounts of money beefing up the NSA's ability to read your mail and listen to your telephone calls, and even though Bush launched a war which cost us one or two trillion bucks, neither the current administration now the preceding one could scrape together the $16 billion necessary to check all cargo containers for radioactive material.
As we noted in the preceding post, one of the likeliest places to "host" such an attack would be Dundalk, Maryland, location of the closest port to Washington DC. It's also the suburb of a major city (Baltimore) and roughly 16 miles away from NSA headquarters.
I have walked my dog in a park not far from that port.
I was hoping some reader of the previous post would present a persuasive technical argument against the scenario which continues to scare me sleepless. No-one, I'm sorry to say, could come up with a way to me look like a fool. In fact, a few other writers have voiced similar concerns -- this fellow
, for example.
Of course, it is fair to presume that every container coming from or passing through North Korea will be checked carefully. But what about cargo from other countries?
There are nations in this world which owe NK big time, because NK has helped "spread the love" when it comes to forbidden nuclear technology, know-how and material. This Telegraph story
from 2010 paints a rather disturbing picture:
Experts responsible for the 75-page report found that North Korea provided the expertise for construction of nuclear faility in Syria that Israel bombed in 2007. It also found that a sanctioned North Korean firm had engaged in "suspicious activity" in Burma and supplied a dual use magnet through a trading firm in Tokyo.
The finding that North Korea is involved with "the surreptitious transfer of nuclear-related and ballistic missile-related equipment, know-how and technology" to countries including Iran, Syria and Burma, by the experts from UN Security Council sanctions committee will enhance efforts to intercept and disrupt North Korea overseas.
Pay close attention to this next bit:
The lengths North Korea goes to as it sold banned material were also detailed including hiring private jets through off-shore companies, providing false descriptions and mislabeling of the contents of shipping containers, falsifying the manifest and information about the origin and destination of the goods.
Emphasis added. So we know that North Korea has
used mislabeled containers to ship nuclear-related materials.
And now we know how war with Korea (which no American really wants) might segue into war with Iran (which many neocons really really really
want). The "helper" nation would face the same ghastly fate that Kimmy seems to long for.
Of course, if a cargo bomb were
to go off, pinpointing the exact "culprit container" would be impossible, since the crime erases the evidence. But human or electronic intelligence might be able to reconstruct who helped Kim Jong-Un do his dirty work. And needless to say, conspiracy theorists will presume that said intelligence was cooked.
I've long felt that the easiest way outta here would be to stand near the center point of a nuclear detonation. Absolutely pain-free. One instant, you are -- the next instant, you are not. Even your atoms scatter. Maybe I should take a bus to that port and camp out.
On a perhaps-related note:
It seems that a couple of North Korean subs have gone "Red October"
on us. Or maybe they're carrying nukes. The ships went missing three days ago -- and they can stay underwater for only three or four days. So where did they go?