They picked the wrong one

A little break from coverage of the Arab world, but worth noting:

Minister: N. Korea Has Nuclear Deterrent:

UNITED NATIONS - North Korea says it has turned the plutonium from 8,000 spent nuclear fuel rods into nuclear weapons to serve as a deterrent against increasing U.S. nuclear threats and to prevent a nuclear war in northeast Asia.

Warning that the danger of war on the Korean peninsula "is snowballing," Vice Foreign Minister Choe Su Hon provided details Monday of the nuclear deterrent that he said North Korea has developed for self-defense.

He told the U.N. General Assembly's annual ministerial meeting that Pyongyang had "no other option but to possess a nuclear deterrent" because of U.S. policies that he claimed were designed to "eliminate" North Korea and make it "a target of preemptive nuclear strikes."


So it's not like the only member of the Axis of Evil not to have WMDs was attacked while the other two rushed to finalize their production lines or anything. North Korea has them now and is willing to say so publicly. Iran perhaps already has them or is about to make them, is barely concealing its ambitions and doesn't really want to collaborate with the IAEA. And there isn't much anyone can do about any of this at the point.

You couldn't make this stuff up if you tried.
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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.