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North Korea Conducts 'Historic' Nuclear Test
Claims to have tested a nuclear device with no harmful radioactive effects
Jason Hahn (woowhee)     Print Article 
Published 2006-10-09 14:49 (KST)   
North Korea carried out their first-ever nuclear test on Monday at around 10:36 a.m. (9:36 p.m. EDT on Sunday), putting to rest any doubt that the country has been working to back up its claims of working towards nuclear capabilities.

According to the communist regime's official news agency, the test was executed safely with no harmful effects, saying that it "was carried out under a scientific consideration and careful calculation."

A South Korean official indicated that the nation's state geology research center detected a 3.58-3.7 magnitude tremor in the North Hamgyeong Province in North Korea at the time that the nation claimed to have carried out the nuclear test. It was dubbed an "artificial earthquake" at the time.

The North Korean news agency said that the "historic event" would "contribute to defending the peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in the area around it."

President's Roh Moo-hyun's spokesperson, Yoon Tae-young, said that "Related countries are in consultations on the issue," and that Roh had called an emergency meeting to talk about responses to the news.

"The meeting will be changed into a National Security Council meeting if the North's nuclear test is finally confirmed," Yoon said.

Shinzo Abe, Japan's new prime minister, arrived in Seoul on Monday in order to talk with President Roh about the damaged relations between the two respective nations as well as the recent nuclear threat North Korea made last Tuesday.

Geological officials in the U.S. said that they did not pick up any seismic movements on the Korean peninsula during the past 48 hours, though stations in China and surrounding areas seem to have picked up some activity during the time cited by North Korea.

Japan's U.N. ambassador Kenzo Oshima, who leads the Security Council this month, said that "Should North Korea ignore calls of the international community, the Security Council will act consistent with its responsibility under the Charter of the United Nations." The Security Council is expected to discuss measures to be taken.

North Korea may have enough radioactive material for about six nuclear bombs, though it is not expected to have the technological capability to create bombs that will fit onto a long-range missile.

North Korea has shown that they are not to be underestimated or scoffed at. Though their missile tests proved to be "unsuccessful," and though they are not believed to possess the capability of reaching the U.S. with nuclear arms, it seems that the U.S. and the U.N. can no longer afford to rely on doubt to further delay significant action against North Korea.

Stocks and currencies in Asia took nosedives in response to the news. The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) declined as much as 3.6 percent after North Korea's announcement, while the Won was down almost 1 percent. The Yen dropped to its lowest level in seven months in response to the news.

On Saturday, South Korean troops near the border between the South and North fired about 40 warning shots in response to five North Korean troops crossing into South Korea, though no one was hurt.
North Korea has joined the nuclear club. What do you think?  (2006-10-09 ~ 2006-11-13)
The Hermit Kingdom is a real threat to the world.
I'm more worried about Bush's reaction.
It's a ploy. They'd never use a nuke.
All nations have the right to self defense.
©2006 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Jason Hahn

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