North Korea claims to of carried out sucessful nuclear test


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#1 Ego Terrorist

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Posted 09 October 2006 - 02:45 PM

North Korea claims that it has carried out a sucessful test of a nuclear weapon.

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"The field of scientific research in the DPRK (North Korea) successfully conducted an underground nuclear test under secure conditions on October 9, Juche 95 (2006) at a stirring time when all the people of the country are making a great leap forward in the building of a great, prosperous, powerful socialist nation.

"It has been confirmed that there was no such danger as radioactive emission in the course of the nuclear test as it was carried out under a scientific consideration and careful calculation.

"The nuclear test was conducted with indigenous wisdom and technology 100%. It marks a historic event as it greatly encouraged and pleased the KPA (Korean People's Army) and people that have wished to have powerful self-reliant defence capability.

"It will contribute to defending the peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and in the area around it."
   Taken from the BBC who took it from Reuters, who got this statement from the Korean Central News Agency...

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The U.S. Geological Survey said it had detected a 4.2 magnitude tremor in North Korea at 10:35 local time (0135 GMT). The Japan Meteorological Agency said its data showed a tremor took place around Gilju, on the peninsula's northeast coast around 110 km (70 miles) from the Chinese border.
Reuters

According to experts the device that was detontated is believed to be a 15 kiloton nuclear weapon. (Hiroshima was hit by a 15 kiloton A-Bomb)

In July 2006 North Korea tested the Taepodong-2 which failed, though is believed to be capable of reaching Alaska. Meanwhile its predecessor the Taepodong-1 tested in 1998 is believed to be capable of hitting targets as far as northern Japan. Both tests resulted in international condemation.

This new development in the nuclear saga has brought internation condemation from all sides. With China, one of North Korea's cloest ally, calling this action "brazen" and has joined South Korea, Japan and Russia in expressing their opposition against North Korea's actions. Meanwhile the White House has called the test 'provocative' and that there should be an immediate reponse from the UN Security Council.

Prior to the nuclear test, the UN in a statement urged North Korea to return to 6 nations talks, and  

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that a nuclear test, if carried out by the DPRK, would represent a clear threat to international peace and security and that, should the DPRK ignore calls of the international community, the Security Council will act consistent with its responsibility under the Charter of the United Nations."
GlobalSecurity.org

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Meanwhile Iran in the 6 nation talks about its nuclear enrichment programme has rejected the demands for a suspension of enrichment.

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Despite fears it is developing nuclear arms, Iran says its aims are peaceful.

"The suspension is completely unacceptable and we have rejected it," foreign ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini told reporters.

"The threat of sanctions is an inefficient means to achieve a solution," he said.
BBC


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#2 Kernel

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Posted 09 October 2006 - 05:21 PM

In my opinion it all comes down to self preservation.

No nation would be stupid enough to use a nuke against another nation. To do so would make an awful lot of enemys (namely the rest of the world) and said country would very quickly find itself on the receiving end of a pretty hefty military attack. Result being that nation would probably cease to exist in it's current form.

It would also be stupid of them to allow their nukes to fall into the hands of terrorists because it's pretty easy to find the source of a nuke from it's nuclear signature. Once the source is found, that nation would also be on the receiving end of a military attack. Once again result being, that nation would likely cease to exist.

Generally it is in the best interest of the government to ensure their nation survives. Doing either of the above is a surefire way of ensuring their nation WON'T survive.

In my mind all this seems to do is make any nation intending to invade either Iran or North Korea think twice before doing so.

This may be making things a little too simple but these are just my thoughts.
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#3 Crazy Gringo

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Posted 09 October 2006 - 05:31 PM

A small nuke at 15 kiloton?
Well....As one interviewed 'expert' in danish radio said: 'Well they could just have dug a hole and filled it up with 15000 tons worth of explosives.' :D
Who needs a nuke? They are loud and messy....
The only reason you would need a nuke is to act as a kickstarter for fission-fusion-fission bomb a.k.a. the 100 megaton hydrogen bomb. The problem solver of all time.  :)
I guess the principle of MAD still is in effect in the heads of some heads of state.
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#4 zaimoni

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 04:44 PM

View PostKernel, on 9th October 2006, 12:21pm, said:

.....

No nation would be stupid enough to use a nuke against another nation. ....
No reasonable nation.

U.S. policy has had cause to think North Korea isn't reasonable, since the failure to end the Korean War with a formal treaty in the 1960's.  Aside from the pro forma exercise of a nuclear war with Russia, all other U.S. nuclear war plans are with nations that have not ruled out being willing to be completely destroyed.

#5 Accounting Troll

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 06:55 PM

I would like to know just how North Korea has managed to finance its nuclear programme.

North Korea's isolationist policies and self-sufficiency ideology means that it doesn't do much international trade - thus preventing the economic growth that has made South Korea prosperous.  A small economy means there isn't much tax money for the government to spend.

The military must absorb most of North Korea's budget - they have a large conscript army, a conventional missile programme that has led to a number of rows with its neighbours and a nuclear programme.  There is simply no way their economy can support such a large military.

I haven't forgotte4n the famine that North Korea experienced a couple of years ago.  Hundreds of thousands of people died before their government admitted to the UN that it needed help.  These deaths could have easily been avoided if North Korea's government had a more responsible set of social priorities.

I wouldn't be surprised if some of the economic and humanitarian aid that was supposed to help the ordinary people of North Korea had been quietly diverted to fund the nuclear project.  A totalitarian regime whose media services are all government controlled would easily be able to do this while claiming the money was being used entirely for humanitarian purposes.

DOes anyone remember the link to those photographs of North Korea in this thread?  Does this look like a responsible nation with the money to fund a nuclear programme?  Or a nation led by people who are bright enough not to want to start some nuclear brinkmanship?

#6 Knan

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 07:22 PM

Is financing all that relevant? Only for what absolutely needs to be bought from abroad. And is that so much?

#7 Matri

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 10:35 PM

The very fact that the reports state Kim detonated a neutron bomb (high radiation variant of an A-bomb) on the peninsula itself should tell you just how much he respects the citizens.
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#8 Accounting Troll

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 11:51 PM

Knan - The funding needed to construct and test a basic nuclear weapon would not be all that much for a prosperous country like South Korea or Japan, but North Korea is so impoverished that it cannot afford to import food when there is a shortfall in its harvests.

I believe the source of the funding of the North Korea's nuclear project is important as either humanitarian aid is being misused or North Korea has been getting covert help from another nation (China and Iran are my suspects) that wants to make trouble for the USA and its regional allies.

#9 DeepOne

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 07:53 AM

It seems that U.S. liberals have had a lot to do with it.  In 1994, President Clinton, with apparently unsolicited help from ex-president Carter, made a deal in which North Korea received $4-6 billion to construct a pair of light-water nuclear reactors for generating electricity and 500,000 tons of fuel oil per year.  In exchange, North Korea agreed to not build nuclear weapons.  Of course, they started to work on developing nuclear weapons almost immediately, and this deal must have greatly improved their ability to do so.  Carter later won a Nobel Peace Prize (that Prize is a joke - even Arafat won one).

I don't think that North Korea using its nuclear weapons is the primary concern.  The problem is that they are heavily into arms trafficking (they're also into counterfeiting and drug trafficking - nice regime over there).  They could sell a nuclear device to Iran or some other Islamic jihad supporter.  And those people would be quite eager to use it to destroy a city.  They don't fear reprisal.

#10 Crazy Gringo

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 10:23 AM

Ain't both Clinton and Carter democrats, Deepone?
Then one might ask: 'What is the difference between a democrat and a liberal?'
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#11 DeepOne

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 10:59 AM

Yes, both Clinton and Carter are Democrats.

Democrats are always liberals although some like to call themselves moderates - meaning moderately liberal, I suppose.  But liberals are not always Democrats.  There are a handful of Republicans who are liberals.  It seems that they will run as Republicans in places where conservatives have no hope of winning (i.e. "blue states" if you're familiar with popular U.S. political jargon).   Many conservatives think Bush (and his father) are too liberal on some issues.

Because the definition of conservative and liberal can vary greatly depending on context (including time and location), I'll post this link again to provide basic definitions in the U.S. political sense.

#12 Crazy Gringo

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 12:10 PM

Liberal vs. Conservative is a bit onedimensional for a political spectrum in my book. I prefer a multiaxis spectrum with two or more axis.
There is lots of political spectrums out there. Some of them can be found here.

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#13 zaimoni

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 02:05 PM

View PostAccounting Troll, on 10th October 2006, 6:51pm, said:

Knan - The funding needed to construct and test a basic nuclear weapon ...
Almost none -- initial funding was U.S., and it takes far less hard currency funding to run a breeder nuclear reactor after construction than a oil-fired electric power plant.

Clinton cuts a deal with North Korea to develop a partially nuclear electric grid (with breeder reactors, of course...why invest in technology with less than four decades of fuel when technology with multiple centuries of fuel is out there), with liberal subsidized fossil fuels, in exchange for no nuclear program.

Bush Jr. cuts off the oil imports in 2002...forcing North Korea to go predominantly nuclear electric grid, and providing perfect cover for a nuclear weapons program.  Keep in mind that North Korea sources hard currency from the black market (and at least 50% of the national government budget), so the fact nuclear power requires no hard currency to operate is very attractive.

Pretty clear case of inconsistent policy being worse than consistent policy...either approach by itself would have worked, it was the switch that created the huge threat to Red China and Japan.  Direct threat to U.S.: minimal.

#14 DeepOne

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Posted 12 October 2006 - 09:02 AM

View Postzaimoni, on 11th October 2006, 2:05pm, said:

Pretty clear case of inconsistent policy being worse than consistent policy...either approach by itself would have worked
That doesn't make sense.  Bush cut off the oil because the U.S. had intelligence that North Korea had a nuclear weapons program and had, therefore, already violated the agreement.  When confronted with the evidence, North Korea admitted that they had been working on developing nuclear weapons for years (since the mid-to-late 90's apparently).  Bush didn't cause the problem; he exposed it.  And it wasn't the change in policy which created the problem; it was the original policy itself which was ridiculously naive.  History has repeatedly shown that appeasing dictators does not work.  Instead of negotiating we'll give you a bunch of stuff if you just promise to behave yourself , we should simply be telling them if you don't behave yourself, we'll make you wish you had.

#15 zaimoni

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Posted 12 October 2006 - 04:08 PM

View PostDeepOne, on 12th October 2006, 4:02am, said:

View Postzaimoni, on 11th October 2006, 2:05pm, said:

Pretty clear case of inconsistent policy being worse than consistent policy...either approach by itself would have worked
That doesn't make sense.  Bush cut off the oil because the U.S. had intelligence that North Korea had a nuclear weapons program and had, therefore, already violated the agreement.  ...
Ignoring, for the moment, that the credibility of said intelligence at the time depends on one's choice of political alignment (I happen to agree it was credible, but a sufficiently liberal perspective won't even accept that):

The aid program had multiple facets.  What would have made pragmatic sense (having decided to continue the agreement in 2000), is terminating most of the program while keeping North Korea addicted to crude oil.

Furthermore, the violations were the acquisition and testing of blueprints for reprocessing.  The entire practical missile and warhead development was post-2002.  [And, judging from the extant test results, three years behind schedule on becoming a threat to the U.S.]

#16 FullAuto

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Posted 12 October 2006 - 11:28 PM

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No reasonable nation.

Well, that puts the US firmly in the 'unreasonable nation' category.

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we should simply be telling them if you don't behave yourself, we'll make you wish you had.

Yup, everyone knows if you're bigger and stronger than the other person, you can push them around as much as you like.

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#17 DeepOne

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 10:41 AM

View PostFullAuto, on 12th October 2006, 11:28pm, said:

Yup, everyone knows if you're bigger and stronger than the other person, you can push them around as much as you like.
Why should dictators be treated any better than they treat the people over whom they rule?

#18 zaimoni

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 03:11 PM

View PostFullAuto, on 12th October 2006, 6:28pm, said:

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No reasonable nation.

Well, that puts the US firmly in the 'unreasonable nation' category.
Agreed, even with the implicit constraint of "first strike" in context.  (The U.S. does openly have a nuclear first-strike plan for the Mideast; all other plans are retaliatory).

#19 Locutus

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Posted 14 October 2006 - 03:10 PM

View PostDeepOne, on 13th October 2006, 10:41am, said:

View PostFullAuto, on 12th October 2006, 11:28pm, said:

Yup, everyone knows if you're bigger and stronger than the other person, you can push them around as much as you like.
Why should dictators be treated any better than they treat the people over whom they rule?

Cause that seperates the just from the beasts.

#20 DeepOne

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Posted 14 October 2006 - 09:56 PM

View PostLocutus, on 14th October 2006, 3:10pm, said:

View PostDeepOne, on 13th October 2006, 10:41am, said:

Why should dictators be treated any better than they treat the people over whom they rule?
Cause that seperates the just from the beasts.

It enables and perpetuates the beasts.  I think that is the opposite of "just".




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