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Lara's Boy
03-10-06, 13:33
North Korea says will conduct nuclear test By Jonathan Thatcher
1 hour, 6 minutes ago



SEOUL (Reuters) - Reclusive North Korea said on Tuesday it would conduct its first-ever nuclear test, blaming a U.S. "threat of nuclear war and sanctions" for forcing its hand.

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The statement by North Korea's foreign ministry, which was carried on the official KCNA News Agency, was immediately condemned by Japan as called "totally unforgivable."

Its announcement capped weeks of rumors that the Stalinist state was planning a test and came amid increasingly bitter relations with the outside world after it test-fired missiles in July.

"The U.S. extreme threat of a nuclear war and sanctions and pressure compel the DPRK (North Korea) to conduct a nuclear test, an essential process for bolstering nuclear deterrent, as a corresponding measure for defense," the statement said.

But it added that North Korea would never use nuclear weapons first and would "do its utmost to realize the denuclearization of the peninsula and give impetus to the worldwide nuclear disarmament and the ultimate elimination of nuclear weapons."

Analysts say North Korea probably has enough fissile material to make 6 to 8 nuclear bombs but probably does not have the technology to make one small enough to mount on a missile.

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso was quoted by Kyodo News Agency as calling the planned test "totally unforgivable" and warning that the international community would respond harshly.

Officials in North Korea's two other major neighbors -- China and South Korea -- gave no immediate reaction to the report.

All are members of six-nation talks trying to end Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program. The other two countries are Russia and the United States.

North Korea walked out of the talks almost a year ago and has refused to return until the United States ends a financial crackdown on its offshore bank accounts, which analysts say has begun to pinch the government of the impoverished country.

A nuclear test is certain to be seen as an attempt by North Korea to force the United States into direct negotiations, something it has long pushed for but which Washington has rejected until Pyongyang returns to the six-party talks.

"North Korea thinks it has no other option but to press the United States to have bilateral negotiations with them. North Korea has nothing to lose by conducting a nuclear test," Chang Myung-soon, an expert on North Korea's military, said.

"It wouldn't care if its people will starve due to toughened economic sanctions, and a military attack on North Korea will be really difficult considering opposition from South Korea, China and Russia," he said.

"I don't think this will end up just as blackmail. I see the possibility of an actual nuclear test as high."

NORTH BLAMES U.S.

North Korea blamed the United States for the latest ratcheting up of tension on the Korean peninsula, which has been divided for more than 50 years after a war over which no formal peace treaty has ever been signed.

It accused Washington over trying to topple its government with the financial crackdown.

"The U.S. daily increasing threat of a nuclear war and its vicious sanctions and pressure have caused a grave situation on the Korean peninsula in which the supreme interests and security of our state are seriously infringed upon and the Korean nation stands at the crossroads of life and death," the North Korean statement said.

(Additional reporting by Kim So-young in Seoul and Linda Sieg in Tokyo)

I wonder how this will effect current world issues...

Celephais
03-10-06, 13:43
Nuclear tension and brinkmanship makes for nice Cold War thiller novels and movies but no government is ever going to actually push "The Button" so don't lose any sleep over it.

Lara's Boy
03-10-06, 13:44
Nuclear tension and brinkmanship makes for nice Cold War thiller novels and movies but no government is ever going to actually push "The Button" so don't lose any sleep over it.

No one said this was the case :rolleyes:
Found an interesting article and thought that in the light of current global conflict some others may be interested in it.

Neteru
04-10-06, 05:41
Lara's boy, can you link to any stories you reproduce here please? Thanks.

EDIT: Hmm, I see we already have a healthy thread running on this, so I'll close this one.