Monday, October 09, 2006

North Korea says conducted nuclear test

From Reuters Mon Oct 9, 2006, by Jack Kim ...

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea said on Monday it had safely and successfully carried out an underground nuclear test, flying in the face of a warning from the U.N. Security Council.
South Korea's military ordered army units to step up their state of alert after the announcement by the reclusive communist state, which came as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrived in Seoul.

The U.S. Geological Survey said it had detected a 4.2 magnitude quake in North Korea at 10:35 local time (0135 GMT) on Monday, confirming a similar report from South Korea.
U.S. defense officials were still saying they could not confirm a nuclear test, however.

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

...The U.N. Security Council last Friday urged North Korea not to carry out a test, warning Pyongyang of unspecified consequences if it did.

....North Korea announced its intention to test a nuclear device last week, saying its hand was forced by what it called U.S. threats of nuclear war and economic sanctions. But it said it would not be the first to use a nuclear weapon. "North Korea is using this claim as a bargaining chip to gain leverage so that Washington will take them seriously," said Dewi Fortuna Anwar, a political analyst at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences and a former Indonesian presidential adviser.

A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said North Korea gave China a 20-minute warning of its test and China immediately told the United States, Japan and South Korea.

(Additional reporting by Jonathan Thatcher and Jon Herskovitz in Seoul, Elaine Lies in Tokyo, Todd Eastham in Washington and Jerry Norton in Jakarta)

No comments: