Video: Kim blows up Yongbyon

posted at 11:25 am on June 27, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

North Korea kept its word today on one point of the new agreement to end its nuclear-weapons programs, and did so in intentionally spectacular fashion.  Kim Jong-Il had the cooling tower at the Yongbyon reactor site demolished today in front of observers from the international media, putting an exclamation point to the end of operations at the site that produced the material for its nukes:

North Korea destroyed the most visible symbol of its nuclear weapons program Friday in a sign of its commitment to stop making plutonium for atomic bombs.

The demolition of the 60-foot-tall cooling tower at its main reactor complex is a response to U.S. concessions after the North delivered a declaration Thursday of its nuclear programs under an agreement at international arms talks.

A single blast at the base of the cylindrical structure sent the tower collapsing into a cloud of white and gray smoke as international journalists and diplomats looked on, according to video footage filmed by broadcaster APTN at the site. Those at the event later pored over the shattered pieces of the tower.

The demolition was mostly for dramatic effect. It makes Yongbyon useless, but the fuel rods had already been removed and the plant shut down some time before. The cooling tower is a necessary component if Kim wanted to restart the facility, but it wouldn’t take very long to rebuild it — although the effort would be immediately obvious from satellite surveillance.

Still, it shows that the momentum has swung towards a favorable resolution to the crisis. The Kim regime needs that more than we do, with his nation starving and energy supplies non-existent. The Bush administration has used a shrewd mix of regional pressure and the enticement of direct relations to get what looks like a much greater degree of verification from Pyongyang than the aborted Agreed Framework that left Kim free to pursue both uranium- and plutonium-based weapons programs. The dust cloud over Yongbyon means that we’re less likely to see a mushroom cloud over Seoul or Tokyo.

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Axis of Evil

Axis of Evil w/o Nukes

improvement.

cntrlfrk on June 27, 2008 at 11:32 AM

WTF? It looks like it’s made out of papier mache and plywood.

wccawa on June 27, 2008 at 11:32 AM

This is another very significant George W. Bush accomplishment that liberals won’t give him credit for. You can bet a John Kerry administration would have allowed Kim to continue to blackmail us.

Maxx on June 27, 2008 at 11:34 AM

Can’t get RedLasso to work for me, which is unusual because I almost always get it to work.

amerpundit on June 27, 2008 at 11:35 AM

Now that’s what a controlled demolition looks like for all you 9/11 troofers out there.

txsurveyor on June 27, 2008 at 11:38 AM

Did they destroy it because it is out-dated? Or because they signed a deal with China for China to provide nuclear fuel for them?
I am just so suspicious…I think we should send Jimmy over there to straighten every thing out (that’s a really bad sarcastic joke), he did last time.

right2bright on June 27, 2008 at 11:38 AM

Madeline Albright weeps.
I could have had the glory were my heels not round.

a capella on June 27, 2008 at 11:38 AM

The dust cloud over Yongbyon means that we’re less likely to see a mushroom cloud over Seoul or Tokyo.

Hope you’re right, there’s a lot to be optimistic about here, but I hope it’s not a diversion.

Tony737 on June 27, 2008 at 11:39 AM

This is another very significant George W. Bush accomplishment that liberals won’t give him credit for. You can bet a John Kerry administration would have allowed Kim to continue to blackmail us.

Maxx on June 27, 2008 at 11:34 AM

Um, excuse me? It was Clinton and Albright who deserve credit for this.
/

carbon_footprint on June 27, 2008 at 11:41 AM

I’m disappointed, this is not the Yongbyon that I knew…

Dale in Atlanta on June 27, 2008 at 11:42 AM

I am just so suspicious

I am as well. The little potbellied dictator doesn’t roll over that easy. I am afraid he has an alternate plan.

txsurveyor on June 27, 2008 at 11:42 AM

I blame George Bush (and Cheney)!!!

trs on June 27, 2008 at 11:43 AM

Now that’s what a controlled demolition looks like for all you 9/11 troofers out there.

txsurveyor on June 27, 2008 at 11:38 AM

It looks like the facility fell faster then gravity would allow…it looks like it wanted to take out another building, but there wasn’t one…it looks like the metal did melt…and I didn’t see a plane hit that tower…yes I can see the similarity…obviously 9/11 used Chinese made explosives…so you are saying it was the Chinese and not the terrorists?
Time to write another book…

right2bright on June 27, 2008 at 11:43 AM

Um, excuse me? It was Clinton and Albright who deserve credit for this.
/

carbon_footprint on June 27, 2008 at 11:41 AM

You need to work on your humor.

Maxx on June 27, 2008 at 11:45 AM

Does anyone have any idea if the rise in oil prices would have pushed Kim into finally agreeing to disarming and shutting down the nuclear facility? (Did some good come accidentally from the oil sheiks) Also is it possible that they came up with a different cooling method so that they didn’t need the big easy to see on satellite pictures cooling tower?
I don’t want to think that Bush is being naive but I also can’t trust a man who is crazy enough to rule a country the way Kim has.

jdog on June 27, 2008 at 11:45 AM

ho-hum,

Lemme’ know, when they blow up a nuclear enrichment factory.

franksalterego on June 27, 2008 at 11:46 AM

They better not be KaBlewing this one up,
and making room for a newer bigger one!

And,check and verify!

canopfor on June 27, 2008 at 11:46 AM

It’s been a couple of great days for GWB. The decision from SCOTUS yesterday was a huge one, and now this. Just wait, his legacy is going to, slowly, get better and better with time.

carbon_footprint on June 27, 2008 at 11:47 AM

I hope the people of North Korea can reunite with family in South Korea as well as benefit the people in terms of food, money, and housing. We’ll see what their idiot dictator has in store.

jencab on June 27, 2008 at 11:48 AM

Kim only did this because Hussein is on the horizon.

Akzed on June 27, 2008 at 11:49 AM

so you are saying it was the Chinese and not the terrorists?

right2bright on June 27, 2008 at 11:43 AM

That’s exactly what I’m saying.
/s

txsurveyor on June 27, 2008 at 11:49 AM

Maxx on June 27, 2008 at 11:45 AM

Bite me.
How’s that?

carbon_footprint on June 27, 2008 at 11:49 AM

is it possible that they came up with a different cooling method so that they didn’t need the big easy to see on satellite pictures cooling tower?

jdog on June 27, 2008 at 11:45 AM

According to the video report above, the entire plant is being disassembled.

Maxx on June 27, 2008 at 11:49 AM

Those at the event later pored over the shattered pieces of the tower.

Looking for a little radiation poisoning, were they?

fogw on June 27, 2008 at 11:49 AM

Bite me.
How’s that?

carbon_footprint on June 27, 2008 at 11:49 AM

That’s better.

Maxx on June 27, 2008 at 11:50 AM

Mr Kim Jong Il!

Tear down that cooling tower!

(/Ronaldus Maximus)

normsrevenge on June 27, 2008 at 11:50 AM

Maxx on June 27, 2008 at 11:50 AM

Thanks.

carbon_footprint on June 27, 2008 at 11:51 AM

“The demolition of the 60-foot-tall cooling tower at its main reactor complex is a response to U.S. concessions ….”

Huh???

Dusty on June 27, 2008 at 11:52 AM

I am afraid he has an alternate plan. – txsurveyor

It’s a vewy pwecise and compricated pran!

Tony737 on June 27, 2008 at 11:52 AM

Not that’s what a controlled demolition looks like for all you 911 troofers out there.

txsurveyor on June 27,2008 at 11:38AM

txsurveyor: But,but,there was no steel,or fire,it
was all cement,it,it,didn’t look right!:)

canopfor on June 27, 2008 at 11:53 AM

Wait, are Obama and Kim Jong related?

Obama’s birth certificate said his name was Barack Hussein Obama Il

faraway on June 27, 2008 at 11:53 AM

The demolition of the 60-foot-tall cooling tower at its main reactor complex is a response to U.S. concessions ….”

Huh???

Dusty on June 27, 2008 at 11:52 AM

How did you expect the media to frame this? You didn’t expect them to frame this as a victory for BOOOOOch did you?

If the media witnessed Bush walking on water the news report would read:

Bush can’t swim.

Maxx on June 27, 2008 at 11:55 AM

That means nothing. He, like Saddam, has moved his operations elsewhere. Back room deals with AQ, or Iran, which are now one in the same.

madmonkphotog on June 27, 2008 at 12:03 PM

Why is it all I can think of is: :Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me….”

I can’t get excited over this at all…. North Korea still doesn’t pass the smell test.( No, I’m not referring to kimchi)

MNDavenotPC on June 27, 2008 at 12:06 PM

It is all the Cowboy’s fault.

Sir Napsalot on June 27, 2008 at 12:09 PM

No one anywhere has answered why North Korea is off the baddies lists after it allegedly built a nuke facility in Syria.

corona on June 27, 2008 at 12:09 PM

Bush can’t swim.

Maxx on June 27, 2008 at 11:55 AM

You are right, GW is definitely not the messiah.

Sir Napsalot on June 27, 2008 at 12:14 PM

“It blowed up REAL good!”

Del Dolemonte on June 27, 2008 at 12:18 PM

Does Kim have any other facilities besides Yongbyon?

aengus on June 27, 2008 at 12:19 PM

That’s ok, that was the old one anyway, the new one is better and deeper underground.

Egfrow on June 27, 2008 at 12:21 PM

That means nothing. He, like Saddam, has moved his operations elsewhere. Back room deals with AQ, or Iran, which are now one in the same.

madmonkphotog on June 27, 2008 at 12:03 PM

I don’t think Saddam is making anymore back room deals, once again, thanks to George W. Bush.

Maxx on June 27, 2008 at 12:24 PM

I’m very skeptical of this so-called “demolition” of the Yongbyon cooling tower. I think if you watch this in slo-mo, you can see that it was in fact destroyed by a kamikaze passenger airplane, not by rigged explosives. It’s obviously a conspiracy, and I dare Danny Bonaduce to say otherwise.

John Conner (in fact, my real name)

connertown on June 27, 2008 at 12:48 PM

connertown on June 27, 2008 at 12:48 PM

6/27 WAS AN OUTSIDE JOB!!

apollyonbob on June 27, 2008 at 12:50 PM

That means nothing. He, like Saddam, has moved his operations elsewhere. Back room deals with AQ, or Iran, which are now one in the same.

madmonkphotog on June 27, 2008 at 12:03 PM

I agree. Best guess is that we decided starving the norks wasn’t going to work toward overthrow of their piglet dictator. They’ve been malnutritioned for years and no matter how many sanctions we put on the Norks it’s not going to affect il Kim, just the already starving slaves he presides over. I just hope they get some freeeking food now!

NTWR on June 27, 2008 at 12:58 PM

Must have given him free passwords to all the worlds porn sites

Hummer53 on June 27, 2008 at 1:08 PM

That’s ok, that was the old one anyway, the new one is better and deeper underground.

Egfrow on June 27, 2008 at 12:21 PM

Too right. And the cooling tower, now splits off into several stacks making it look like a factory next to an office building.

- The Cat

MirCat on June 27, 2008 at 1:47 PM

WTF? It looks like it’s made out of papier mache and plywood.

wccawa on June 27, 2008 at 11:32 AM

It’s only a model.

TexasDan on June 27, 2008 at 2:21 PM

44 days left before the nuc documents are verified, and food aid arrives. The food that their communist dogma could not grow in their own country. Meanwhile, the North Korean people will starve in the dark.

NaCly dog on June 27, 2008 at 3:40 PM

That cooling tower looks like a toy compared to the towers at U.S. nuclear reactors.

It looks like a cheap propaganda film.

jaime on June 27, 2008 at 5:32 PM

Texas Dan,
“It’s only a model.”

Has Kim been flashing that cooling tower shaped beacon again?

exhelodrvr on June 27, 2008 at 6:03 PM

It makes sense that Kim would move his operation to a more secretive location and continue producing weapons. It doesn’t make sense, however, that he’d keep the weapons themselves a secret. One of the big reasons for having the nukes would be to prevent the U.S. or South Korea from attacking him. I hope that in 6 months he won’t be coming out saying, “thanks for the food, but we still have nukes, and we’re making more, and this time you don’t know where.”

Anyone who has been to Korea and looked at the 38th parallel knows that we should be looking underground, considering the tunnels that the North dug trying to reach Seoul.

p40tiger on June 27, 2008 at 9:22 PM

The Bush administration has used a shrewd mix of regional pressure and the enticement of direct relations to get what looks like a much greater degree of verification from Pyongyang than the aborted Agreed Framework that left Kim free to pursue both uranium- and plutonium-based weapons programs.

This is another very significant George W. Bush accomplishment that liberals won’t give him credit for.

Maxx on June 27, 2008 at 11:34 AM

Stupid cowboy chimp.

After we invaded Iraq, it was really N. Korea, you know, that was the huge threat. Now that we’ve made huge progress and they aren’t such a threat anymore, eh, who cares?

I am just so suspicious

I am as well. The little potbellied dictator doesn’t roll over that easy. I am afraid he has an alternate plan.

txsurveyor on June 27, 2008 at 11:42 AM

Me three. Couple things, though: he’s desperate, the country is starving, even the army and the power players are feeling it, and he needs their support; maybe he really had no choice. Also, he still has bombs, and knowledge, in case the eeevil US double-crosses him, so he’s not totally without leverage.

So I’m encouraged.

misterpeasea on June 28, 2008 at 12:28 AM