Former NSA chief doubts NKorea will give up nukes
AFP | June 26, 2007
Former US National Security Agency director Bobby Ray Inman voiced doubt Tuesday that North Korea would give up its nuclear arms, as UN inspectors arrived in Pyongyang after a near five-year absence.
"My scepticism comes from the fact I don't think any country that has actually got nuclear weapons has given them up," he told reporters during a visit to Japan.
Instead, the international community may only be able to persuade North Korea not to build more nuclear weapons, the 76-year-old retired admiral said.
The biggest concern, Inman added, was not that North Korea would use its nuclear weapons against neighbouring countries, but whether it would supply them to others.
"They might sell it or provide it to somebody who would be much more willing to use it," he said.
Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) arrived in North Korea Tuesday for the first time since they were kicked out in late 2002.
The IAEA team is expected to work on arranging the shutdown of the North's Yongbyon reactor, under an aid-for-disarmament deal reached in February.
The impoverished nation stunned the world last October with its first ever nuclear weapons test.
Inman, also a former deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), warned that North Korea's nuclear drive could trigger a regional arms race.
"If North Korea is a nuclear power there will be growing internal pressures in both South Korea and Japan to go nuclear. It simply will occur," he said.
Inman said there was a lack of in-depth intelligence about countries such as North Korea and Iraq -- both included in US President George W. Bush's "axis of evil".
"The greatest shortage in US intelligence is overt human observers -- not spies, just overt human observers with a language ability, understanding of the cultures, countries," he said.
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