Ion Mihai Pacepa -- Russia's long history of nuclear proliferation -- Is Putin following in Krushchev's footsteps ?
Ion Mihai Pacepa, the most senior KGB spy ever to defect to the West, brings his expertise to bear on the current nuclear showdown with North Korea. The Soviet Union, and now Russia, have a long history of nuclear proliferation in their ongoing undeclared war on the U.S. Pacepa sees persuading Putin as the only viable route to averting nuclear confrontation. Good luck. Mr. Putin does not seem to be in a cooperative frame of mind recently -- if ever. Furthermore, I would think that Kim Jong-Il is more China's creature than Russia's. And in addition Iran has it's black hand in there as well.
If North Korea develops a viable nuclear bomb we may not have to wait years for Iran to have one -- all they will have to do is get one from North Korea. The idea that we can interdict nuclear technology by means of inspections is completely illusory, given China's enormous land border with North Korea. Suddenly that fallout shelter doesn't sound quite so looney.
Ion Mihai Pacepa on North Korea on National Review Online
The detonation of a nuclear device by North Korea’s tyrant is an apocalyptic event calling for America’s unity against one of her most indoctrinated foes. “Let’s exterminate our sworn enemy U.S. imperialism!” reads a slogan posted inside North Korean jet cockpits, sailor’s cabins, and army guard posts. Instead, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid called for an investigation of the Bush administration’s “failed North Korea policies.” I once belonged to the sanctum sanctorum of the impregnable citadel of Communist nuclear intrigue, and I have hard reasons to believe that no atomic diplomacy on earth could have stopped Kim Jong Il from achieving nuclear weapons.
[...]The proliferation of nuclear weapons is something we should thank Nikita Khrushchev for. He gave Soviet technology to China, which further passed it on to North Korea and Pakistan. Iosif Stalin, the father of Russia’s nuclear weapons, had kept them close to his chest.
I never met Stalin in the flesh, but I heard plenty of stories about him from my one-time Soviet counterpart Igor Kurchatov, who headed the Soviet equivalent of the Manhattan Project. According to him, Stalin was as a kind of Geppetto, the Italian carpenter who carved a piece of wood that could laugh and cry like a child. Stalin’s Pinocchio was called “Iosif-1,” and it was an identical copy of the American “Fat Man” nuclear bomb.
[...]That day Stalin swore to keep nuclear power for himself,” I heard Frédéric Joliot-Curie say in August 1955, when I was a member of the Romanian delegation at the United Nations Geneva Conference on the Peaceful Use of Atomic Energy. The French nuclear physicist and prominent Communist, appointed by Stalin as president of the Soviet-created World Peace Council, claimed he had been in Moscow during that test.
Everything changed after Stalin died. Khrushchev liked to portray himself as a peasant, but that was misleading, to say the least. Peasants have a sense of property. Khrushchev did not. He matured politically in a period when the Communists were bent on eradicating private property throughout the Soviet Union, and he developed an eminently destructive nature. Only a few short years after his enthronement in the Kremlin, he smashed Stalin’s statues and shattered the Soviet Union’s image as a workers’ paradise, all without constructing anything new to fill the vacuum he had created. Then Khrushchev decided to fulfill Communism’s historic destiny as the gravedigger of capitalism by arming its deadly enemies with nukes.
That opened a Pandora’s box and let loose an international nightmare.
[...]Khrushchev long ago became history. Not so the Kremlin’s habit of secretly proliferating nuclear weapons to dictators who dream of waging war on America. There is convincing evidence showing that Moscow has helped the terrorist government of Iran to construct a 1,000-megawatt nuclear reactor at Bushehr, with a uranium conversion facility able to produce fissile material for nuclear weapons. There is also evidence that, at the same time, hundreds of Russian technicians have helped the government of Iran to develop the Shahab-4 missile, with a range of over 1,250 miles, which can carry a nuclear or germ warhead anywhere in the Middle East and Europe.
On May 23, 2002 President George W. Bush expressed his anxiety about Iran’s dangerous venture. “Russia needs to be concerned about proliferations into a country that might view them as an enemy at some point in time. And if Iran gets weapons of mass destruction, deliverable by missile, that’s going to be a problem,” he said. “That’s going to be a problem for all of us, including Russia.”
During his May 2006 state of the nation speech President Vladimir Putin raised the specter of a new Cold War. Russia’s president portrayed the United States as his country’s “main adversary” and pledged to increase the nuclear triad of land, sea and air-based strategic weapons. “It is premature to speak of the end of the arms race,” he said in his televised address to the Russian people. “Moreover, it is going faster today. It is rising to a new technological level.”
Pinning the blame for the current nuclear proliferation on the Bush administration’s unwillingness to bribe North Korea’s playboy despot is not going to solve the current nuclear crisis. Hoping that the just-approved U.N. resolution instituting sanctions on North Korea will take care of the problem is equally illusory. Persuading Putin to stop playing nuclear Armageddon might be the best way out.