North Koreans Gone Wild in Syria!

posted at 8:20 am on April 24, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Congress will get to see a video taken inside the Syrian facility later bombed by the Israelis that will demonstrate the nuclear intentions of the site as well as the involvement of North Korea. DPRK technicians appear on the clandestine video, and the design of the facility will look almost exactly like that of the scuppered Yongbyon facility that Pyongyang gave up as part of their agreement to end North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons. The briefing will show how Kim Jong-Il wanted to sell DPRK expertise in nuclear technology to dangerous regimes before finally agreeing to stop:

A video taken inside a secret Syrian facility last summer convinced the Israeli government and the Bush administration that North Korea was helping to construct a reactor similar to one that produces plutonium for North Korea’s nuclear arsenal, according to senior U.S. officials who said it would be shared with lawmakers today.

The officials said the video of the remote site, code-named Al Kibar by the Syrians, shows North Koreans inside. It played a pivotal role in Israel’s decision to bomb the facility late at night last Sept. 6, a move that was publicly denounced by Damascus but not by Washington.

Sources familiar with the video say it also shows that the Syrian reactor core’s design is the same as that of the North Korean reactor at Yongbyon, including a virtually identical configuration and number of holes for fuel rods. It shows “remarkable resemblances inside and out to Yongbyon,” a U.S. intelligence official said. A nuclear weapons specialist called the video “very, very damning.”

Nuclear weapons analysts and U.S. officials predicted that CIA Director Michael V. Hayden‘s planned disclosures to Capitol Hill could complicate U.S. efforts to improve relations with North Korea as a way to stop its nuclear weapons program. They come as factions inside the administration and in Congress have been battling over the merits of a nuclear-related deal with North Korea.

Syria dismisses this as a “neoconservative” smear campaign, but their reactions at the time tell a much different tale. The video, if it measures up to the hype, will provide clear evidence of nuclear ambitions by the Bashar Assad regime. The Syrian ambassador claims that Damascus would not pursue nuclear weapons after seeing how the Bush administration dismembered the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq for less, and certainly they haven’t tried rebuilding Al-Kibar since its destruction.

Whether this disclosure hurts the Bush administration’s efforts to gain support for the North Korean settlement remains to be seen, but most likely it will have no effect at all. Al-Kibar didn’t just spring out of the ground in 2006; that cooperation started much earlier and continued until the Israelis bombed the facility. It hasn’t started again, and likely will not. Pyongyang won’t get many more takers in a region where both US and Israeli bombers can level new facilities, and Iran got their assistance from AQ Khan years ago. They need a resolution with the US and Japan in order to fend off starvation and find ways to legitimately acquire hard currency.

Meanwhile, Syria has made some noise lately about restarting peace talks with Israel to resolve the Golan Heights territory and other outstanding issues. The destruction of Al-Kibar apparently will go unrevenged, and Assad may have tired of his puppet status to the Tehran mullahcracy. Israel apparently checkmated Assad’s last hope of prevailing militarily over them.


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Did Pelosi tour this site while she was over there?

I love Israel. In two air strikes on the correct targets, they took out Iraq and Syria’s first bid to create nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, the USA leadership thinks of a billion ways to take the long road with Iran since 1979.

Hening on April 24, 2008 at 8:28 AM

When we look closely at the video, we will probably see Carter at the ribbon cutting of the plant…proclaiming the peaceful use of nuclear energy…

right2bright on April 24, 2008 at 8:32 AM

Let’s also hope the bombing took our a couple of NK’s nuclear experts.

right2bright on April 24, 2008 at 8:35 AM

If they could have only gotten that fat guy in a white suit petting his cat….

Then the Dems would believe

many Arabs over here in Doha and Dubai are really pissed we didn’t take out Syria

EricPWJohnson on April 24, 2008 at 8:39 AM

Interesting. I read the news article yesterday and came to the conclusion the Israelis have some extremely good intelligence gathering capability (yes, they even spy on us).

I really don’t think anyone in the Middle East, except the Mad Mullahs of Iran, is going to go nuclear any time soon. North Korea, however, is another matter. While Kim certainly knows the people are starving, the cult of personality that is North Korea knows little else. The Army gets sufficient food to maintain their fighting strength so South Korea is still threatened. You know Kim is looking at the wealth and prosperity to the south and a starving man will go to almost any lengths to get food.

Could an invasion be in the future?

SeniorD on April 24, 2008 at 8:41 AM

So let me speculate a little here — they were building the plutonium reactor facility in Iraq and then the 2003 war interrupted them so they moved it to Syria? Might explain a lot.

tarpon on April 24, 2008 at 8:49 AM

Its Funny Jimma’ Carter doesn’t make a stop there in a show of mourning, part of the peace process……

sbark on April 24, 2008 at 8:55 AM

You guys don’t really believe this do you? The Iraq gravy train is drying up and Haliburton needed to invent some new war.

tlynch001 on April 24, 2008 at 9:31 AM

George, on the way out…like just before the door hits you in the ass…please do the right thing and nuke’em all so we can just start simply over!

Dread Pirate Roberts VI on April 24, 2008 at 9:33 AM

Syria has made some noise lately about restarting peace talks with Israel to resolve the Golan Heights territory

And when all the kings who were servants to Hadadezer saw that they were defeated by Israel, they made peace with Israel and served them. So the Syrians were afraid to help the people of Ammon anymore.
2 Samuel 10:19

Red Pill on April 24, 2008 at 9:36 AM

Fascinating stuff.

CP on April 24, 2008 at 9:57 AM

But we can talk’em out of it.

Speakup on April 24, 2008 at 10:15 AM

George, on the way out…like just before the door hits you in the ass…please do the right thing and nuke’em all so we can just start simply over!

Dread Pirate Roberts VI on April 24, 2008 at 9:33 AM

Oh sure, because genocide is always the answer eh, muppet?

Ares on April 24, 2008 at 11:01 AM

“Oh no, sonny boy! Not done yet. That there nuklear reactor’s gonna cost ya an eye…”

mojo on April 24, 2008 at 11:27 AM

News Flash: April 25, 2008 8:00am
Jimmy Carter today condemned Israel for bombing a peaceful industrial facility in Syria. Carter said that if Israel had not seized the Golan Hights and placed settlements there, the peaceful government of Bashar Assad would long ago had signed a peace agreement with Israel. Carter denied that Syria had ever constructed a nuclear facility and denied that North Korea has nuclear weapons or exported nuclear technology. Carter said that both he and Kim Il Sung Jr. “are both physicists”. Carter said that Khemal Meshall, the leader of Hamas, had personally told him (Carter) that Syria has no nuclear ambitions. Carter said that “supporters of Israel” who are “allied with Dick Cheney” had attempted to destroy the US-Syrian alliance.

Larraby on April 24, 2008 at 12:04 PM

3am phone call to Syria,umm If you biuld it,
we will bomb it!Kapeesh.

canopfor on April 24, 2008 at 12:22 PM

U.S. officials said that Israel shared the video with the United States before the Sept. 6 bombing, after Bush administration officials expressed skepticism last spring that the facility, visible by satellite since 2001, was a nuclear reactor built with North Korea’s assistance.

But beginning today, intelligence officials will tell members of the House and Senate intelligence, armed services and foreign relations committees that the Syrian facility was not yet fully operational and that there was no uranium for the reactor and no indication of fuel capability, according to U.S. officials and intelligence sources.

David Albright, president of Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) and a former U.N. weapons inspector, said the absence of such evidence warrants skepticism that the reactor was part of an active weapons program.

“The United States and Israel have not identified any Syrian plutonium separation facilities or nuclear weaponization facilities,” he said. “The lack of any such facilities gives little confidence that the reactor is part of an active nuclear weapons program. The apparent lack of fuel, either imported or indigenously produced, also is curious and lowers confidence that Syria has a nuclear weapons program.”
(emphasis added)

Some people will not believe even as they see a mushroom cloud rise before them.

U.S. intelligence officials will also tell the lawmakers that Syria is not rebuilding a reactor at the Al Kibar site. … “Indeed, there is little, if any, evidence that cooperation between Syria and North Korea extended beyond the date of the destruction of the reactor.”

See what the right action gets ya? They are called results.

IrishEyes on April 24, 2008 at 12:27 PM

North Korea, however, is another matter. While Kim certainly knows the people are starving, the cult of personality that is North Korea knows little else. The Army gets sufficient food to maintain their fighting strength so South Korea is still threatened. You know Kim is looking at the wealth and prosperity to the south and a starving man will go to almost any lengths to get food.

Could an invasion be in the future?

SeniorD on April 24, 2008 at 8:41 AM

With the stark contrast between the economic realities of North Korea vs. South Korea, it’s amazing to me that anyone in this country still thinks that socialism/communism produces a better outcome than capitalism. Yet such people persist in the academia that teaches our children, and in many parts of our own government. It is simply mind-boggling.

To quote Ben Stein:

All human history is the struggle between systems that attempt to shackle the human personality in the name of some intangible good on the one hand and systems that enable and expand the scope of human personality in the pursuit of extremely tangible aims. The American system is the most successful in the world because it harmonizes best with the aims and longings of human personality while allowing the best protection to other personalities.

If you haven’t seen Ben’s new movie Expelled, go see it. It is simply amazing. I believe it is as big a wake up call to this country as September 11, 2001 was.

Red Pill on April 24, 2008 at 12:35 PM

right2bright: Let’s also hope the bombing took our a couple of NK’s nuclear experts.

It did. Lil’ Kim was yowling about his techs getting pasted during the raid.

The Israelis figured it out … you can always get some whore to sell yellowcake or hardware … but techs take a half-generation to properly replace.

Kristopher on April 24, 2008 at 1:54 PM

Ares: Oh sure, because genocide is always the answer eh, muppet?

If they manager to set off a nuke in the US, lef’tards will not be able to prevent Option Zero … arabic will be spoken in only two places: nations that promptly surrender, and hell.

Kristopher on April 24, 2008 at 1:58 PM

manager=manage …

Kristopher on April 24, 2008 at 1:59 PM

I put my faith in God, not man, so I don’t worry about the evil machinations of evil men. And women.
Israel owes it’s existence to that same God.
No matter what happens, God is in charge, and Israel is as safe as if they were surrounded by friends instead of enemies.
Read Psalm 37, and don’t worry, be happy.

Doug on April 24, 2008 at 2:15 PM

It’s a slam dunk just like the video of the balsawood drone that was going to kill us all with chemical weapons.

LevStrauss on April 24, 2008 at 2:53 PM