Paths of Courage

Paths of Courage by Mike Woodhams Read Free Book Online

Book: Paths of Courage by Mike Woodhams Read Free Book Online
Authors: Mike Woodhams
water.”
    â€œSacrilege.”
    â€œI agree, but there’s no accounting for taste, Sir Jeffery. Where would we all be if we felt the same about the amber liquid?” Green countered.
    â€œQuite,” replied the spy chief, coming back to his desk and handing Green his drink. “Back to business.” He raised his glass as he sat down. “Cheers!”
    Green acknowledged, savouring the single malt. “South Korean Intelligence seems to be convinced that sources in Pyongyang have the truth that General Yang was killed because he knew too much and was about to defect. They all but confirmed that the North is somehow involved with a missile attack – either on us, or on America – within two to three months, which at least narrows it down to when. However, not knowing the launch location, the target, or what type of warhead will be used remains quite frustrating.”
    Sir Jeffery looked at his operations head thoughtfully. “Could be anywhere with a sub involved. The target: London, New York, Washington – your guess is as good as mine. As for the missile warhead, there really are only two choices: nuclear or biological. Bearing in mind the defector stated his government would use the super virus against its enemies, I am of the opinion a bio threat, not nuclear, is the more likely, initiated by the North and carried out possibly by al-Qaeda.” The chief removed his glasses and pinched the top of his nose; he was beginning to feel the pressure. He replaced the glasses after a few moments and looked intently at Green. “I am finding it difficult to accept al-Qaeda would be capable of having the technical ability to crew a nuclear submarine and fire missiles.”
    Green agreed and added, “If the Americans were not sure who was responsible, they would not risk a nuclear war. If al-Qaeda, or some other terrorist organization, carried out the attack, a lot of people would die unnecessarily. And for what? A bunch of crazy fanatics. No, I don’t think the Americans would risk the human race for that. Nor would we, but they would certainly strive to get even some other way.”
    â€œRecent satellite flyovers revealed nothing unusual happening in the Hamgyong Mountain area. The Americans don’t seem to be too concerned either about the intel we have or its implications.”
    â€œWhat area exactly did the sats cover?”
    â€œNinety-mile radius around Pyorha-ri right up to the Russian border using infra-red, ultra-sonic and heat probes – all negative. If an underground plant exists, it’s deep or beneath very thick concrete lined with lead.”
    â€œAnd GCHQ?” asked Green, referring to the British Communication Centre at Cheltenham, responsible for monitoring all telecommunications around the globe.
    â€œUsual traffic,” replied Sir Jeffery, peering over his glasses. “No chatter to suggest a clandestine bio plant.” He paused to take a sip from his glass, then changed the subject. “What is the latest on the North’s nuclear capability?”
    â€œSince reopening Yongbyon and closing down some of the outdated facilities, uranium enrichment has not stopped. The stockpile of spent fuel rods could yield enough plutonium to produce maybe six to twelve warheads a year.”
    â€œThey could then have more than thirty?” queried Sir Jeffery.
    â€œCorrect. Selling to other countries too. Maybe the deal with Abu Hasan is for a ‘dirty bomb’. What devastation that would cause if one was to go off in Hyde Park! A hundred lbs of enriched uranium would be all you’d need to make a full-scale nuclear bomb and only nine for one fuelled by plutonium. The North would have that amount to offer buyers.”
    Silence descended for several seconds, then Sir Jeffery spoke. “The intel from Moscow, and to some extent Seoul, was enough for us to send a team into the North to verify. The PM needs to be informed

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