The World As We Knew It Has Been Left Behind
  • Unusual cold kills 16 in eastern U.S. . . .
  • Thailand warns on bird flu deaths . . .


    Nuclear war danger highest ever?


    The threat of nuclear war is greater today than ever before, says the head of the U.N. nuclear agency, Mohamed El Baradei, in an interview in today's edition of the German magazine Der Spiegel.

    "An atomic war will come upon us if we do not agree on a new system of international controls," he said.

    El Baradei said new controls are needed to prevent the black-market trade in nuclear materials and knowledge by "smart nuclear experts, unscrupulous companies and possibly state organs."

    "Never was the danger as great as today," he told the weekly newsmagazine. "An atomic war draws nearer if we do not start thinking about a new international control system."

    He said he was "extremely concerned" about the nuclear weapons program in North Korea.

    "I would be in no way surprised if Pyongyang already has an operational atomic bomb," he said.

    He called on North Korea to open its weapons labs for inspections.