This is a strange story. Remember the sneak attack by Israel on a site in Syria last year? Well, it seems that the Israelis showed Washington a video of North Koreans inside the facility – which just happens to be almost identical to the North Korean reactor facility at Yongbyon, right down to the number of holes for fuel rods.
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.
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."…..
…..David Albright, president of Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) and a former U.N. weapons inspector, said the absence of such evidence warrants skepticism that the reactor was part of an active weapons program.
"The United States and Israel have not identified any Syrian plutonium separation facilities or nuclear weaponization facilities," he said. "The lack of any such facilities gives little confidence that the reactor is part of an active nuclear weapons program. The apparent lack of fuel, either imported or indigenously produced, also is curious and lowers confidence that Syria has a nuclear weapons program."
Now that is one weird statement. The absence of fuel in the presence of what certainly appears to be a reactor should not lead one to conclude that there is no weapons program. Rather, it should lead one to believe that the Syrians hadn't fueled the reactor yet. Albright's statement is akin to claiming that a man carrying a machine gun isn't armed if he doesn't have bullets in it. (One doubts such a defense would work in a court.) Wikipedia had a picture of the top of the reactor at Yongbyon. Perhaps Mr. Albright could explain what in the world the Syrians could have been planning to use such a facility for if not for plutonium production.
Side note: This paints Nancy Pelosi's visit to Syria in an even worse light. And kind of points to the silliness of Barack Obama's grasp of how to deal with thugs.