You've seen the intelligence. Is there any information that leads you to believe that the North Koreans are assisting Middle Eastern countries such as Iran or others in getting nuclear weapons?
Well, what information I have on that subject I can't share. But what I can say is that North Korea has clearly, in the past, assisted Iran in its ballistic missile program.
They've helped the Pakistanis with missiles?
They've helped the Iranians with missiles. Libyans with missiles.
Syrians with missiles?
Many countries in the Middle East. Almost anybody who will buy them.
And they're out hawking them all the time.
Are there North Koreans helping the Iranians with nuclear programs?
Wouldn't surprise me to find the technical underbellies of these weapons of mass destruction programs in constant communication with one another and working with one another.
It wouldn't surprise you to find out that the North Koreans were helping the Iranians develop a nuclear bomb?
No, it wouldn't surprise me.
Syrians or Libya?
Would not surprise me, no, and it's fine as long as they're only trading blueprints. But when they've got the metal, the plutonium that can make those blueprints real, then you really have to be worried.
This is important because this is, as I understand it, a major piece of their gross national product, missile sales.
It has been in the past, a substantial source of hard currency earnings to them. I think the market has tapered off a little bit for them.
All the more reason to sell something bigger and better.
That's much more valuable.
Ed. Note: More about North Korea's missile trade
How much do you sell a nuclear warhead for? Are five pounds of plutonium enough to make a big warhead?
There is mercifully no market in that. No test has been done. I believe it's the case that there were rumors 25 years ago, that Qaddafi offered India to relieve its entire foreign debt in return for one nuclear weapon.
How much was that?
I don't know but it must have been billions and billions and billions of dollars. And remember that countries that choose the proliferation path spend an enormous amount reprocessing plutonium or enriching uranium. It's expensive to make nuclear weapons. It's a hassle. There are large facilities involved, and you get caught building them. They're facilities that can be bombed, like Yongbyon. So if you're intent upon getting nuclear weapons, by far the easier path is to buy the material. Even more so if you're a terrorist who doesn't have a country in which he can build a reprocessing facility or build a uranium enrichment facility.
Our nightmare, any of us -- which would change the way we lived our lives -- was if we thought that any moment Al Qaeda might detonate a nuclear weapon in a city anywhere in the world, because we learned that they had gotten hold of some plutonium from the North Koreans by sale. Or when the North Korean regime collapsed, somebody smuggled it out. People talk about containment of North Korea. Well, you can contain North Korea in many ways, but it's not believable to me that we can put a hermetic seal around North Korea that will guarantee us that a little piece of metal this big of plutonium can't get out of North Korea. That's completely incredible.