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Ear to the Ground

N. Korea Plans Nuclear Test

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Posted on Oct 4, 2006

North Korea said it will conduct a nuclear test, a key step in the manufacture of atomic bombs, but also said it’s committed to disarmament—suggesting that the whole thing is a bargaining ploy.

So, Iraq has suspected facilities related to weapons of mass destruction and we invade? But North Korea announces it’s building a bomb and Condi Rice shoots off a press release?


AP:

North Korea triggered global alarm on Tuesday by saying it will conduct a nuclear test, a key step in the manufacture of atomic bombs that it views as a deterrent against any U.S. attack. But the North also said it was committed to nuclear disarmament, suggesting a willingness to negotiate.

The contradictory statement fits a North Korean pattern of ratcheting up tension on the Korean Peninsula, a Cold War-era flashpoint, in an attempt to win concessions such as economic aid. The strategy has had mixed results in recent years as the totalitarian regime sinks deeper into isolation and poverty, with China serving as its lifeline for food and fuel.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called the announcement “a very provocative act” and urged Asian nations to rethink their relationships with North Korea.

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