THE Pentagon has produced detailed plans to bomb North Korea’s nuclear plant at Yongbyon if the communist rogue state goes ahead with reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel rods that would yield it enough plutonium for half a dozen nuclear weapons within six months.
According to well-informed Canberra sources close to US thinking, the elaborate Pentagon plan also involves a US strike against North Korean heavy artillery nestled into the hills above the border with South Korea. The artillery directly threatens the giant city of Seoul, as well as about 17,000 US troops stationed just south of the Demilitarized Zone.
North Korea sent shockwaves around the world this week when a report on its government website said it was “successfully reprocessing more than 8000 spent fuel rods at the final phase”.
It was accepted later that this could have been a mistranslation, the Korean version suggesting it was moving towards reprocessing but had not yet started.
Western intelligence believes no reprocessing has yet taken place.
In the Pentagon plan, the US strike would come as a response to North Korea beginning such reprocessing.