The MasterBlog: Analysis: NKorea's bomb test adds to atomic threat - Yahoo! News
Subscribe to The MasterBlog in a Reader Subscribe to The MasterBlog by Email

MasterBlogs Headlines

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Analysis: NKorea's bomb test adds to atomic threat - Yahoo! News

Analysis: NKorea's bomb test adds to atomic threat - Yahoo! News


Analysis: NKorea's bomb test adds to atomic threat


By ROBERT BURNS, AP National Security Writer Robert Burns, Ap National Security Writer – Tue May 26, 7:28 am ET

WASHINGTON – North Korea's nuclear test makes it no likelier that the regime will actually launch a nuclear attack, but it adds a scary dimension to another threat: the defiant North as a facilitator of the atomic ambitions of others, potentially even terrorists.
It also presents another major security crisis for President Barack Obama, already saddled with wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and a nuclear problem with Iran.
Obama assured the president of South Korea and the prime minister of Japan that the U.S. remains committed to the defense of their nations, the White House said in a statement following Obama's calls to the leaders Monday night.
Obama and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak "agreed that the test was a reckless violation of international law that compels action in response," the White House said. "They agreed to work closely together to seek and support a strong United Nations Security Council resolution with concrete measures to curtail North Korea's nuclear and missile activities."
South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported that North Korea had test-fired two short-range missiles Tuesday after test-firing three short-range missiles Monday.
It's far from clear what diplomatic or other action the world community will take. So far, nothing they've done has worked.
At an earlier juncture of the long-running struggle to put a lid on North Korea's nuclear ambitions, the administration of President Bill Clinton in the mid-1990s discussed with urgency the possibility of taking military action. That seems less likely now, with the North evidently nuclear-armed and the international community focused first on continuing the search for a nonmilitary solution.
Meeting in emergency session in New York, the U.N. Security Council on Monday condemned North Korea's nuclear test as a clear violation of a previous U.N. resolution banning such testing. The council said it would begin work immediately on a new legally binding resolution.
Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., said Tuesday that the resolution "will have teeth in it, and I expect additional sanctions.
"The pressure will increase on North Korea economically and otherwise, and North Korea will recognize that its actions have only left it further isolated, and further debilitated," Rice said on CBS' "The Early Show."
The North's announcement that it conducted its second underground test of a nuclear device drew quick condemnation across the globe, including from its big neighbor and traditional ally, China. The Obama administration, which said the North's action invited stronger, unspecified international pressure, has consistently called for Korean denuclearization but seemed not to have anticipated a deepening nuclear crisis.
Just two weeks ago, the administration's special envoy for disarmament talks with North Korea, Stephen Bosworth, said during a visit to Asian capitals that "everyone is feeling relatively relaxed about where we are at this point in the process." If so, they are no longer.
North Korea conducted its first atomic test in 2006 and is thought to have enough plutonium to make at least a half-dozen nuclear bombs. It also is developing long-range ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads, in defiance of U.N. actions.
One of the first estimates of the size of Monday's nuclear explosion came from the Russian defense ministry, which put the yield at between 10 and 20 kilotons — comparable to the U.S. bombs that flattened Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan in August 1945. But a senior U.S. administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it appeared the explosive yield was much smaller, perhaps a few kilotons. The official said more technical analysis would be done in coming days.
The administration official also disclosed that North Korea notified the State Department less than one hour before the explosion that it intended to conduct a nuclear test at an unspecified time. The U.S. then notified China, Russia, Japan and South Korea, the official said.
The United States could still try to resuscitate so-called six-party talks with the North as well as work with other members of the United Nations. North Korea has vowed not to resume participation in the six-party talks with the U.S., Japan, South Korea, China and Russia.
The Bush administration worked hard to get China, in particular, to press the North Koreans to denuclearize, and it seems likely that Obama will push equally hard with Beijing, which sided with the North Koreans against U.S. and United Nations forces during the 1950-53 Korean War. In recent years the Chinese have openly criticized the North Koreans for the nuclear arms program.
Two of the main worries about North Korea are left unsaid: Would it use a nuclear bomb to attack a neighbor or the United States? And might it continue an established pattern of selling nuclear wherewithal and missiles to foreign buyers?
Graham Allison, an assistant secretary of defense in the Clinton administration and now director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University, said Monday that the international community regularly underestimates North Korean leader Kim Jong Il's willingness to do the unexpected.
"Could this guy believe he could sell a nuclear bomb to Osama bin Laden?" Allison asked in a phone interview. "Why not?"
___
EDITOR'S NOTE — Robert Burns has covered national security affairs for The Associated Press since 1990

Play Video AP – Sec. Clinton wants quick response to N. Korea Slideshow:North Korea Play Video Video:Nations condemn North Korea for nuclear test AP Play Video Video:North Korea confirms second nuclear test AFP

No comments:

Post a Comment

Commented on The MasterBlog

Tags, Categories

news United States Venezuela Finance Money Latin America Oil Current Affairs Middle East Commodities Capitalism Chavez International Relations Israel Gold Economics NT Democracy China Politics Credit Hedge Funds Banks Europe Metals Asia Palestinians Miscellaneous Stocks Dollar Mining ForEx Corruption obama Iran UK Terrorism Africa Demographics Government UN Living Bailout Military Russia Debt Tech Islam Switzerland Philosophy Judaica Science Housing PDVSA Revolution USA War petroleo Scams articles Fed Education France Canada Security Travel central_banks OPEC Castro Nuclear freedom Colombia EU Energy Mining Stocks Diplomacy bonds India drugs Anti-Semitism populism Arabs Brazil Environment Irak Saudi Arabia elections Art Cuba Food Goldman Sachs Syria Afghanistan Hamas Lebanon Silver Trade copper Anti-Israel Egypt Hizbollah Madoff Ponzi Warren Buffett press Aviation BP Euro FARC Gaza Honduras Japan Music SEC Smuggling humor socialism trading Che Guevara Freddie Mac Geneve IMF Spain Turkey currencies violence wikileaks Agriculture Bolívar ETF Restaurants Satire communism computers derivatives Al-Qaida Bubble FT Greece NY PIIGS Republicans Sarkozy Space Sports BRIC CITGO DRC Flotilla Germany Globovision Google Health Inflation Law Libya Mexico Muslim Brotherhood Nazis Pensions Peru Uranium cnbc crime cyberattack fannieMae pakistan stratfor Apollo 11 Autos BBC Bernanke CIA Chile Climate change Congo Democrats EIA Haiti Holocaust IFTTT ISIS Jordan Labor M+A New York OAS Philanthropy Shell South Africa Tufts Ukraine bitly carbon earthquake facebook racism twitter Atom BHP Beijing Business CERN CVG CapitalMarkets Congress Curaçao ECB EPA ETA Ecuador Entebbe Florida Gulf oil spill Harvard Hezbollah Human Rights ICC Kenya L'Oréal Large Hadron Collider MasterBlog Morocco Nobel Panama Paulson RIO SWF Shiites Stats Sunnis Sweden TARP Tunisia UN Watch Uganda VC Water Yen apple berksire hathaway blogs bush elderly hft iPad journalism mavi marmara nationalization psycology sex spy taxes yuan ALCASA ANC Airbus Amazon Ariel Sharon Australia Batista Bettencourt Big Bang Big Mac Bill Gates Bin Laden Blackstone Blogger Boeing COMEX Capriles Charlie Hebdo Clinton Cocoa DSK Desalination Durban EADS Ecopetrol Elkann Entrepreneur FIAT FTSE Fannie Freddie Funds GE Hayek Helicopters Higgs Boson Hitler Huntsman Ice Cream Intel Izarra KKR Keynes Khodorskovsky Krugman LBO LSE Lex Mac Malawi Maps MasterCharts MasterFeeds MasterLiving MasterMetals MasterTech Microsoft Miliband Monarchy Moon Mossad Mugabe NYSE Namibia Nestle OWS OccupyWallStreet Oman PPP Pemex Perry Philippines Post Office Private Equity Property Putin QE Rio de Janeiro Rwanda Sephardim Shimon Peres Stuxnet TMX Tennis UAV UNHRC VALE Volcker WTC WWII Wimbledon World Bank World Cup ZIRP Zapatero airlines babies citibank culture ethics foreclosures happiness history iPhone infrastructure internet jobs kissinger lahde laptops lawyers leadership lithium markets miami microfinance pharmaceuticals real estate religion startup stock exchanges strippers subprime taliban temasek ubs universities weddimg zerohedge

Subscribe via email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

AddThis

MasterStats