Stanford Prof Sees New North Korean Nuke Facility

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*![](http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2010/11/21/world/21INTEL/21INTEL-popup.jpg "Hecker")*
Stanford Professor Siegfried Hecker
*The New York Times* has [just reported](http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/21/world/asia/21intel.html?src=twrhp) that Stanford Professor Siegfried Hecker was shown North Korea’s new nuclear facility on a recent visit to the country. According to the *Times*, the facility was built secretly and may reveal the regime’s intent to build a far more powerful nuclear weapon.

In an interview, Hecker discussed what he’d seen. The * Times* writes:

The scientist, Siegfried S. Hecker, a Stanford professor who previously directed the Los Alamos National Laboratory, said in an interview that he had been “stunned” by the sophistication of the new plant, where he saw “hundreds and hundreds” of centrifuges that had just been installed, and that were operated from what he called “an ultra-modern control room.” The North Koreans claimed 2,000 centrifuges were already installed and running, he said.

Hecker did express skepticism about some of the regime’s claims, according to the Times:

Dr. Hecker said he was forbidden from taking pictures during his tour of the uranium plant, and was not allowed to verify North Korean claims that the facility was already beginning to produce low-enriched uranium. “There are reasons to question whether that’s true,” said Dr. Hecker, who also said he has doubts the North has the technology to complete its reactor project.

In happier news, Stanford won Big Game! The Axe is ours!

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