PBS News Hour on North Korea
Bob Gallucci and Michael Pillsbury were on the PBS News Hour as the hawk and the dove on North Korea. Pillsbury, the hawk, is a Pillsbury doughboy heir, and worked in the Pentagon back 30 years ago. Of course, the Pentagon was almost always the enemy of the State Dept, and Pillsbury was the enemy. I can’t remember exactly what issue he was involved in, probably missile proliferation and North Korea, but he was affiliated with Asst. Sec. of Defense Richard Perle under Reagan and Steve Hadley, who replaced Perle under G.H.W. Bush.
To PBS’ credit, in the run-up to the panel, they talked to Sigfried Hecker, the former head of the Livermore National Lab. Like Los Alamos, Livermore builds America’s bombs. For some reason the North Korean’s liked Hecker and showed him all kinds of stuff when he visited years ago. Maybe it was just scientists showing off. But because he builds bombs, he understood it all. I think he probably knows more about North Korea’s bombs than anybody outside of North Korea, but people seldom talk to him. On PBS he was less alarmist on N.K.’s bomb, saying they probably still have a few years to go to develop one for a missile.
Of course, the Missile Technology Control Regime, which I worked on off and on for five or more years was supposed to prevent countries like N.K. from getting strategic missiles. But it was only an export control regime, and the Chinese have never fully committed to it. It may have helped slow down N.K., but now I think they probably have the national capability to develop long range missiles without outside help. So, export control doesn’t help much.
I found this interesting old article about Michael Pillsbury.