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World & US News Round-ups, Commentary & Research Information

~ SPECIAL REPORT: The World’s Response to N. Korea’s Nuclear Test – UPDATED

Posted by Admin on October 9, 2006

UPDATE: 3:00 p.m. U.S. Central Time –

According to Russia’s Defense Minister, North Korea’s Nuclear Test was of greater magnitude than first reported. They are estimating that the test was the equivalent of 5,000 tons to 15,000 tons of TNT. As a comparison, the AP article stated that the bomb dropped by the U.S. on Hiroshima during WWII was the equivalent of 15,000 tons of TNT.

The U.S. Geological Survey have announced that they recorded a 4.2-magnitude seismic event centered in Northeastern North Korea. North Korea’s neighboring countries also detected a seismic event. The AP reports that only Russia’s monitoring service detected a nuclear explosion.

The AP article also refers to an Interfax report which stated that according to an unnamed diplomatic source in Russia, the Foreign Ministry alerted the Russian Ambassador in N. Korea about the impending test about 2 hours before it was conducted. The AP states that this report could not be confirmed.

So far there have been no reports of radiation detected in the surrounding areas.

You can read the full article here; “Russia: North Korea Test Greater Than Reported” – Associated Press (AP) – The Centre Daily Times (CentreDaily.com) – State College, Pennsylvania, US – 9 October 2006

ORIGINAL POST:
As most of you have probably already heard, North Korea has completed their first underground test of a nuclear weapon as of 9:30p.m. Eastern Time last night, October 8, 2006. North Korea is being condemned this morning by governments around the world.

What will be done about Kim Jong Il’s decision is not known. Will it be more idle talk, or will someone take action?

If sanctions are recommended what real effect would this have on Jong Il? The average citizen in North Korea is already starving, and their children are subject to indoctrination in their schools. Will another country step up to the plate to defend our world from this homicidal dictator, or will America again have to lead the way as the “World’s Police”?

After the President’s address transcript I have compiled links to articles and quotations with response from around the world to North Korea’s Test:

PRESIDENT BUSH’S STATEMENT TO THE NATION:

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
October 9, 2006

President Bush’s Statement on North Korea Nuclear Test
Diplomatic Reception Room

9:58 A.M. EDT

 

THE PRESIDENT: Last night the government of North Korea proclaimed to the world that it had conducted a nuclear test. We’re working to confirm North Korea’s claim. Nonetheless, such a claim itself constitutes a threat to international peace and security. The United States condemns this provocative act. Once again North Korea has defied the will of the international community, and the international community will respond.

This was confirmed this morning in conversations I had with leaders of China, and South Korea, Russia, and Japan. We reaffirmed our commitment to a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula, and all of us agreed that the proclaimed actions taken by North Korea are unacceptable and deserve an immediate response by the United Nations Security Council.

The North Korean regime remains one of the world’s leading proliferator of missile technology, including transfers to Iran and Syria. The transfer of nuclear weapons or material by North Korea to states or non-state entities would be considered a grave threat to the United States, and we would hold North Korea fully accountable of the consequences of such action.

The United States remains committed to diplomacy, and we will continue to protect ourselves and our interests. I reaffirmed to our allies in the region, including South Korea and Japan, that the United States will meet the full range of our deterrent and security commitments.

Threats will not lead to a brighter future for the North Korean people, nor weaken the resolve of the United States and our allies to achieve the de-nuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Today’s claim by North Korea serves only to raise tensions, while depriving the North Korean people of the increased prosperity and better relations with the world offered by the implementation of the joint statement of the six-party talks. The oppressed and impoverished people of North Korea deserve that brighter future.

Thank you.

END 10:01 A.M. EDT

MAJOR MEDIA COVERAGE FROM AROUND THE WORLD:

QUOTE:

     
SEOUL, Oct. 9 (Yonhap) — North Korea announced Monday that it successfully conducted an underground nuclear test.
     
In a report by the North’s official Korean Central News Agency, the communist regime said the test earlier Monday was carried out safely and successfully.
     
“The nuclear test was conducted by 100 percent of our wisdom and technology,” it said.
     
There was no danger including leaks of radioactivity, it added.
     
South Korea’s presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said the country’s state intelligence agency detected a 3.58 magnitude seismic tremor in the North’s remote area of North Hamgyeong Province at around 10 a.m.
     
“The intelligence was immediately reported to President Roh Moo-hyun,” Roh’s spokesman Yoon Tae-young said. “Related countries are in consulation on the issue.”
     
Roh immediately called an emergency meeting of related ministers to discuss countermeasures.
     
– “
North Korea Claims Success in Nuclear Test” – Yonhap News

QUOTE:

     
UNITED NATIONS, Oct 9 (Reuters) – U.N. Security Council members on Monday strongly condemned North Korea’s nuclear test and will begin work on a U.S.-drafted resolution, Japan’s U.N. Ambassador Kenzo Oshima told reporters.
     
After the first round of consultations, Oshima, this month’s council president, said, “It is the desire of the Security Council to respond to this threat to peace and security in the region and beyond.”
     
He said that ambassadors “strongly condemn and once again urge North Korea to refrain from further testing and to return to six-party talks and abandon its nuclear programs.”
     
Oshima said junior ambassadors would negotiate later in the day on a resolution the United States was drafting.
     
– “
UN Council members condemn North Korea’s actions Bonds News” – Reuters Today

QUOTE:

     
[. . .]”Russia has condemned North Korea’s nuclear test, and believes that it should immediately return to its nuclear-free status and resume the six-nation talks,” he said, reiterating a statement made earlier by President Vladimir Putin.
     
“Russia absolutely condemns the test in North Korea, which has inflicted great damage to the non-proliferation process,” Putin said, and urged the Communist regime to return to the six-nation talks.
     
North Korea, South Korea, Russia, Japan, China and the United States have been engaged in talks on the nuclear issue since 2003, discussing aid and security guarantees for the secretive regime in exchange for a renunciation of its nuclear program. But talks stalled last November over Pyongyang’s demands that the U.S. lift sanctions imposed on it for its alleged involvement in counterfeiting and other illegal activities. [Cont’d . . .]
     
– “
U.S. to submit UN Security Council draft resolution on N.Korea” – RIA Novosti

QUOTE:
     
[. . .]Late today, Tokyo dispatched three T-4 supersonic aircraft to waters between Japan and the Korean peninsula to monitor radiation levels.
     
The aircraft will collect air samples at an altitude of about 9,900ft which will be analysed for radioactivity, according to the Defence Agency. More flights were scheduled later in the week.
     
Earlier, Japanese officials called the test a serious challenge to its national security and said Tokyo would respond with immediate and stern measures.
     
“If we consider that North Korea has also been strengthening its ballistic missile capabilities, which could help it deliver weapons of mass destruction, a test is a grave matter of concern,” Yasuhisa Shiozaki told reporters.
     
The North test fired several missiles, including one capable of hitting the United States, in July.
     
A test would “constitute a serious challenge to our country’s security that cannot be tolerated,” he said, and Japan will consider “taking stern measures immediately”. But he did not elaborate on what those measures might be. [Cont’d . . .]
     
– “
Nuclear test Japan threatens immediate and stern meaures” – Ireland On-Line News

QUOTE:

     
[. . .]South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun says his country’s response to an apparent nuclear test by communist North Korea will be “stern but fair.”
     
[. . .]
     
[A North Korean Radio] announcer says the test produced no radiation leakage, because it was conducted with wisdom and scientific knowledge. She adds the historic event brings the army and the North Korean people great pleasure.
     
[. . .]
     
South Korean authorities have responded by halting emergency flood aid destined for the impoverished North. In addition, Seoul raised the alert status for its military forces. [Cont’d. . .]
     
– “
South Korea, Japan Condemn North Korean Nuclear Test” – VOA News

QUOTE:

     
China, North Korea’s closest ally, is condemning Pyongyang’s announcement that it had exploded a nuclear device. News of the test came just a day after China had joined longtime rival Japan in condemning Pyongyang’s plans to conduct a nuclear test.
     
In a statement carried by the Xinhua state news agency, the Chinese government Monday said China is “resolutely opposed” to the North Korean action. The statement, however, did not say what – if any – actions Beijing would take as a result.
     
China has warned the North repeatedly not to test. Shi Yinhong is an international relations professor at Beijing’s People’s University.
     
“China has already felt betrayed by its so-called ally, North Korea, previously. But this is of course, more serious than any action that North Korea has taken before,” he said. [Cont’d . . .]
     
– “
China Condemns North Korean Nuclear Test” – VOA News

  • ASIA INSTABILITY ‘BIGGEST THREAT’” – by Matthew Warren & Patricia Karvelas – The Australian – News Limited – Surry Hills, New South Wales, Australia – 10 October 2006
  • NUCLEAR TERROR THREAT RAISED” – by Bruce Loudon, Correspondent – The Australian – News Limited – Surry HIlls, New South Wales, Australia – 10 October 2006

QUOTE:

     
Asian defence strategists last night expressed grave fears at North Korea’s arrival as the eighth member of the nuclear club, as they blamed Pakistan’s rogue scientists AQ Khan for helping Pyongyang get the bomb.
     
Some analysts expressed fears that nuclear technology was now much more likely to get into the hands of terrorist groups after yesterday’s nuclear test.
     
“We all knew this was going to happen but it doesn’t make it any less of a disaster because we were forewarned about it for so long,” a senior defence analyst in New Delhi said last night. [Cont’d. . .]
     
– “
Nuclear Terror Threat Raised” – The Australian

QUOTE:

     
[. . .] “The South African government is deeply concerned at the reported nuclear test by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,” said Ronnie Mamoepa, the foreign affairs spokesperson.
     
[. . .]
     
“The South African government is fully convinced that nuclear weapons threaten the total annihilation of humanity and are therefore not a source of security and do not serve any deterrent pupose whatsoever,” said Mamoepa.
     
South Africa called on North Korea to “fully and verifiably terminate any nuclear weapons programme, to return to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, and to open all its nuclear facilities and materials to comprehensive IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) safeguards inspections and surveillance.” [Cont’d. . .]
     
– “
[South Africa] Condemns N Korea Nuclear Test” – SABC News

QUOTE:

     
The Prime Minister, John Howard, said North Korea’s nuclear test had “destabilised the region” as analysts warned of the risk of a regional nuclear arms race.
     
The Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, said nuclear weapons would become a domestic political issue in Japan, although the Government of Shinzo Abe was likely to resist.
     
[. . .]
     
Mr. Howard said he was “disturbed and outraged”.
     
He called for the United Nations Security Council to prove its mettle by imposing “strong measures”.
     
“If the United Nations is to come up to scratch on this issue it will win great respect and an enhanced reputation,” he said.
     
“If the United Nations fails to act effectively … that will represent a further diminution of its authority.” [Cont’d . . .]
     
– “
Strong Response Needed from UN, Says Howard” – The Sydney Morning Herald

  • LIFE AS USUAL IN NORTH KOREA AFTER NUCLEAR TEST” – Reuters – Reuters Today – Reuters Group plc – London, England, UK – 9 October 2006

    QUOTE:

         
    [. . .] Foreign residents said there was no heightened security or troop presence on the broad avenues of Pyongyang, the country’s showpiece capital.
         
    “There is normal movement in the city. There doesn’t appear to be any special measures,” said one resident. “We’ve noticed no unusual activity here,” said another. [Cont’d. . .]
         
    Life as Usual in North Korea After Nuclear Test” – Reuters Today

  • BRITAIN, FRANCE SAY SUPPORT NORTH KOREA SANCTIONS” – Reuters – Reuters Today – Reuters Group plc – London, England, UK – 9 October 2006

QUOTE:

     
[. . .]”The discussion will be on sanctions,” France’s U.N. Ambassador Jean-Marc de la Sabliere told reporters on his way to a U.N. Security Council session. “The time has come to have a Chapter 7 resolution.”
     
Chapter 7 makes a resolution mandatory for all U.N. members and allows for sanctions and even war. But the Security Council has to state specifically what kind of action members want.
     
“Action under Chapter 7 is what is appropriate,” Britain’s Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry told reporters. “We will look at what sort of measures can be agreed by the council. But certainly the United Kingdom would support proposals put down to that effect.” [Cont’d . . .]
     
– “
Britain, France Say Support North Korea Sanctions” – Reuters Today

 

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