I love Bill Maher, but his recent jokes about the North Korean threat may one day seem horrifying.
Like many others, he seems to take his cue from Charles Ferguson, president of the Federation of American Scientists, who told journalists that he has seen no evidence that the North Koreans had developed a missile capable of surviving re-entry into the atmosphere. But now we learn that our intelligence community had access to a source of information
unavailable to Ferguson -- the recovered front section of a rocket used to send an NK satellite into space.
The same basic engineering and science needed to launch a satellite into space is also used in the multi-stage rockets known as inter-continental ballistic missiles. The front of the satellite rocket, according to three U.S. officials who work closely on North Korean proliferation, gave tangible proof that North Korea was building the missile’s cone at dimensions for a nuclear warhead, durable enough to be placed on a long-range missile that could re-enter the earth’s atmosphere from space.
“Having access to the missile front was a critical insight we had not had before,” one U.S. non-proliferation official told The Daily Beast. “I have seen a lot of drawings, but we had not seen the piece of that missile at that time.” This official continued: “we looked at the wreckage from the launch and we put it together with other kinds of intelligence and came to this judgment that they had figured out the warhead piece.”
Some readers will probably try to convince me that these words do not mean what they plainly mean. But why else would John Kerry now be seeking negotiations
with Krazy Kim?