THE BLACK KETTLE

Proverbs 21:30

Fallout From North Korea’s Nuclear Test

by Claudia Rosett:

There’s plenty we still don’t know about the underground explosion — presumed to have been a nuclear test — that shook North Korea on Tuesday, February 12. We don’t know if it was a plutonium-based nuclear test (like North Korea’s previous two tests in 2006 and 2009) or a uranium-based test (the apparent bomb fuel of choice for North Korea’s partner in proliferation, Iran, as well as a dual bomb track for North Korea).

Sticklers for certainty can even cavil over whether it was a nuclear test, since there have been no reports yet of any nuclear signature — though it was certainly a large explosion.

But here are some things we do know. We know that North Korea felt free to telegraph last month to the entire world that it was planning another nuclear test, and to issue an in-your-face notification to China and the U.S. when it was imminent. We know that immediately after the explosion, North Korea rushed to advertise it as a nuclear test, and held a televised rally to celebrate (though festive does not quite describe the tenor of the occasion). North Korea also felt free to to threaten that if there is any hostile response from the U.S.:

We will be forced to take stronger, second and third responses in consecutive steps.

How shall we count the dangers of this event?
[...]

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February 15, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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