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April 24, 2008
Caught on Tape
Smile, you're on Mossad's camera!
A videotape that clearly shows North Koreans working at the site in Syria bombed by Israel last September, as well as other visual evidence regarding the reactor itself, proves that North Korea was trying to construct a reactor capable of manufacturing plutonium:
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. As to be expected, there are dissenting views. Syria says the CIA manufactured the tape (we got it from Israel). Some arms control experts think we are drawing the wrong conclusions about the nature of the site (perhaps North Korea was helping the Syrians build a gigantic noodle factory).
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.
Right now, we are at a delicate stage of negotiations with the NoKos. It is likely that the ackowledgement of the existence of the tape was at least partly a message to Kim that we know what they've been up to and they better come clean in the negotiations.