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FRED
10-09-06, 12:22 AM
N Korea carries out nuclear test (http://www.news.com.au/adelaidenow/story/0,22606,20548728-5006301,00.html)
October 09, 2006 (News.com.au)

NORTH Korea has this afternoon detonated a nuclear device despite global warnings that it would bring a powerful response from the international community.

The country's official Korean Central News Agency said there had been no radioactive leakage from the site.

"The nuclear test is a historic event that brought happiness to the our military and people," KCNA said.

"The nuclear test will contribute to maintaining peace and stability in the Korean peninsula and surrounding region."

South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun has convened a meeting of security advisers over the issue, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported, and intelligence over the test has been exchanged between concerned countries.

The North said last week it would conduct a test, sparking regional concern and frantic diplomatic efforts aimed at dissuading Pyongyang from such a move. North Korea has long claimed to have nuclear weapons, but had never before performed a known test to prove its arsenal.

The nuclear test was conducted at 10:36 a.m. (0136 GMT) in Hwaderi near Kilju city, Yonhap reported, citing defence officials. The detonation caused a significant seismic event, which was identified by agencies around the world.

AntiSpin: Meanwhile, on the border with China...
The troop trains were rolling (http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,20547436-2703,00.html) even on the Chinese mid-autumn festival on Friday. Civilian traffic on a main line was halted to allow one train to pass, with carriages jammed with glum soldiers in camouflage and flat cars carrying olive-green military vehicles.

And while a few off-duty men strolled with their sweethearts under the full moon along the banks of the Yalu, others watched from outposts at the silent, darkened shores of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

China's dilemma is that its ruling elites are still bound to those of North Korea by a like-minded political authoritarianism. President Hu Jintao has even praised North Korea for keeping to its Stalinist politics, a view he may be repenting now that Kim has brought China to the brink of a nuclear crisis.

Beijing's main fear is that if Kim tests a bomb - the CIA believes he has enough plutonium for four; other US sources think more - then Japan will feel it has no choice but to acquire its own atomic arsenal.

That would destroy the balance of power in northeast Asia that has kept the peace since the end of World War II. China's secondary fear is that if Kim's regime collapses, hundreds of thousands of desperate, hungry North Koreans, some armed, will flood across its border to sow unrest and instability.
And in the US...
A North Korean test (http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-friedberg6oct06,0,4254466.story?coll=la-news-comment-opinions)would mark a painful defeat for the Bush administration. Having said repeatedly that it would never tolerate a nuclear-armed North, Washington may find that it has little choice but to do so. American credibility will be weakened and the system of international agreements meant to stop nuclear proliferation will suffer a possibly fatal blow. Pyongyang's success will probably embolden Iran in its quest for nuclear capability while heightening Washington's resolve to use any means necessary to stop it. And this is to say nothing of the possibility that North Korea may follow through on yet another threat that it has made, albeit obliquely, in recent years: to sell or transfer nuclear weapons or material to whomever it chooses.
This is a sad day for humanity. It may well be remembered as the beginning of one of the darkest periods in history.

metalman
10-09-06, 12:08 PM
someone please explain to me... if poor and backward n. korea, with stone-age technology, can build a nuke, how are we supposed to believe rich, technologically advanced iran, with a 30+ year old nuclear weapons program, a large scientific community, and help from probably both russia and china, doesn't already have a bomb? it just doesn't make sense!