November 22, 2010 |
The U.S. special envoy for North Korea on Monday sought to downplay revelations that Pyongyang is building a new facility to process uranium that can be used in nuclear weapons. State Department special representative Stephen Bosworth met with South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan, later telling reporters that the U.S. has been monitoring construction at North Korea's main Yongbyon atomic complex. "This is obviously a disappointing announcement. It is also another in a series of provocative moves" by North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, Bosworth said.
November 23, 2010 |
"Stunning" was how Siegfried Hecker, former head of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, described North Korea's new uranium-enrichment facility. While more sophisticated and extensive than previously believed, this plant is entirely consistent with 15 years of sustained effort by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to perfect its nuclear weapons program. Indeed, media reports about a new enrichment plant surfaced as early as February 2009. Moreover, just a week before Hecker's announcement, North Korea confirmed it was building a larger nuclear reactor at Yongbyon.
February 14, 2013 |
PALO ALTO - Siegfried Hecker is a former director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory and a professor at Stanford. But his knowledge of the North Korean nuclear program is not purely academic. He has visited North Korea seven times and toured the nuclear facilities. He even held a sample of North Korean-made plutonium (albeit well protected in a glass jar). In an email interview this week after North Korea's third nuclear test, he was asked a series of questions, including the most obvious: How worried should the United States be?
December 16, 1985
Siegfried S. Hecker, a research scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory since 1973, will become the laboratory's new director, University of California President David P. Gardner announced. Hecker, 42, will assume responsibility in January for a laboratory with a $690-million budget in fiscal 1985 and a staff of 7,900, making it the largest employer in northern New Mexico.
June 14, 2009 |
North Korea, calling itself a "proud nuclear power," vowed Saturday to forge ahead with its nuclear program in defiance of the latest United Nations sanctions. In a statement released by the Foreign Ministry, North Korea said it intended to weaponize its stockpile of plutonium and pursue uranium enrichment. Bluster is the stock in trade of Pyongyang's propaganda machine, but coming on the heels of an apparently successful nuclear test May 25, the threats are chilling.
February 17, 2008 |
The former director of Los Alamos National Laboratory said Saturday that North Korea is serious about denuclearizing and is willing to contemplate a program such as that used to help former Soviet republics destroy their nuclear weapons. "This is a big deal," said Siegfried Hecker, referring to North Korea's accomplishments so far in shutting down its main nuclear facility at Yongbyon, 60 miles north of Pyongyang.