El enigma norcoreano

CAMBRIDGE – ¿Qué está pasando en Corea del Norte? El 23 de noviembre, su ejército disparó casi 200 asaltos de artillería contra la isla surcoreana de Yeonpyeong, cerca de la frontera marítima en disputa durante dos siglos, en la que murieron cuatro personas –entre ellas dos civiles- y quedaron demolidas decenas de casas y otras estructuras. La presencia de civiles, muchos de los cuales tuvieron que ser evacuados, hizo que el ataque de Corea del Norte resultara aún más provocador que su hundimiento en marzo del buque de guerra surcoreano Cheonan, en el que murieron 46 marineros.

Y, apenas unas semanas antes de los ataques a Yeonpyeong, Corea del Norte le mostró a una delegación de científicos norteamericanos una planta de enriquecimiento de uranio nunca antes revelada, que aumentará la capacidad del régimen para fabricar armas nucleares.

El programa de armas nucleares de Corea del Norte ha sido motivo de preocupación durante dos décadas. Pyongyang violó sus obligaciones bajo el Tratado de No Proliferación Nuclear al reprocesar en secreto suficiente plutonio como para producir dos armas nucleares a comienzos de los años 1990. Después de retirarse de un acuerdo de restricción negociado por la administración Clinton en 1994, expulsó a los inspectores de la Agencia Internacional de Energía Atómica y comenzó a reprocesar combustible gastado que podía producir plutonio para otras seis bombas.

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