Siegfried Hecker has an article in Foreign Policy discussing the uranium enrichment plant he toured in North Korea.
It’s not a bad article. But he doesn’t discuss the one burning question that should dictate most of our foreign policy toward North Korea:
Did the Chinese supply this plant to the DPRK?
At a minimum, China served as a transshipment point for the centrifuges, which is pretty bad already. But if China is the originating state, not Iran or Pakistan (neither of which seem capable of “ultramodern” facilities), then the reading we have on the Chinese-North Korean relationship (that the Chinese are tired of their North Korean neighbors) is woefully off.
It might be time to begin discussing the return of nuclear weapons to South Korea with our allies in the region. China needs to know that if it creates existential threats for its neighbors, its neighbors will generate their own existential threats to China.