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North Korea Claims sucessful nuclear test

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SEOUL, South Korea (CNN) -- North Korea on Monday claimed it has performed a successful nuclear test, according to that country's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).


South Korean government officials also said North Korea performed its first nuclear test, the South's Yonhap news agency reported.


The apparent nuclear test was conducted at 10:36 a.m. (1:36 a.m. GMT) in Hwaderi near Kilju city, Yonhap reported, citing defense officials.


"The field of scientific research in the DPRK (North Korea's official name) successfully conducted an underground nuclear test under secure conditions on October 9 ... 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," KCNA reported.


In Washington, White House Press Secretary Tony Snow said, "We can't confirm independently, although we're aware of the reports."


A senior U.S. official said China was given a 20-minute warning ahead of the test and in turn told the United States, Japan and South Korea about getting the advance notice.


A U.S. military official told CNN that "something clearly has happened," but the Pentagon was working to fully confirm the report.


Other senior U.S. officials said they also believed the test took place, citing seismic data that appears to show one.


The U.S. Geological Survey Web site recorded a light 4.2-magnitude earthquake in North Korea at 10:35 a.m., about 385 kilometers (240 miles) northeast of the North Korean capital, Pyongyang.


South Korean intelligence officials said a seismic wave of magnitude-3.58 had been detected in North Hamkyung province, according to Yonhap.


"The nuclear test was conducted with indigenous wisdom and technology 100 percent. 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 defense capability," KCNA reported.


"It will contribute to defending the peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in the area around it."


North Korea's closest ally, China, said on Monday it firmly opposed North Korea's reported nuclear test, and denounced the development as "brazen."


China also demanded Pyongyang stop any action that would worsen the situation, Reuters news service reports.


"The DPRK has ignored the widespread opposition of the international community and conducted a nuclear test brazenly on October 9," China's Foreign Ministry said in a statement on its Web site.


"The Chinese government is firmly opposed to this," the statement said.


In Tokyo, the prime minister's office said Japan had set up a task force to address the situation.


Chief government spokesman Yasuhisa Shiozaki said if a nuclear test was confirmed, Japan would "strongly protest" it.


High-level South Korean officials were meeting Monday after intelligence of the suspected test was received.


"President Roh Moo-hyun called in an emergency meeting of related ministers on Monday to discuss the North Korean nuclear issue," said Yonhap, quoting Foreign Ministry spokesman Choo Kyu-ho.


"The meeting comes as there has been a grave change in the situation involving the North's nuclear activity."


According to KCNA, there was no radioactive leakage from the site.


On Friday, the U.N. Security Council warned North Korea against performing a nuclear test, citing unspecified action if it should do so.


It also called on North Korea to return immediately to the six-party talks with China, Japan, South Korea, Russia and the United States.


'Serious provocation'

Citing American belligerence and pressure, North Korea said Tuesday that a nuclear test was in the works. A date and time for the test was not given.


The report of the test came as Japan's new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrived in Seoul for meetings with President Roh Moo-hyun to address the nuclear issue as well as address strains in relations between the two countries over territorial and historical disputes.


North Korea accused rival South Korea on Monday of committing a serious provocation by firing warning shots during a weekend incident in which the South says soldiers from the communist North crossed over their border.


The border shooting came Saturday. South Korean soldiers rattled off about 40 warning shots after a group of five North Korean troops crossed into the southern side of the no-man's-land separating the divided Korean peninsula, South Korea said.


No one was hurt in the incident.


On Monday, members of the U.N. Security Council are expected to select South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon to succeed Kofi Annan as secretary-general of the world body.


In a straw poll last Monday, all but one of the 15 council members supported that choice, according to Chinese Ambassador Wang Guangya.


John Bolton, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, refused to discuss the outcome of the vote, but said: "I think it was sufficiently clear that all members of the council agreed to move to a formal vote on Monday night," he said. The announcement would be made Tuesday, he said.



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Yeah, well...


Nothing new, really. They've claimed to have nuclear weapons for some time now and the IAEO confirmed that. I guess the only ones who didn't believe it were some anti-americans who draw a line to Iraq.


Now everyone knows. Does this change anything? No - except Japan, South Korea and the USA should increase their efforts to improve the national missile shield.

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What a lot of fuss over nothing. The world is no different than it was yesterday. More sabres will be rattled but anyone with half a brain knows that nuclear war is not in our future.

What is in the future is the economic triumph of India and China and the rapid descent into ignominy of Western nations. It's not nukes that will win that war - just fat, slovenly white conservatives who are driving us under the Asian economic jackboot in their SUVs. While we bang on about 'terrorists' and follow the US slavishly, the Chinese are quite happy making our plastic cup holders, novelty key chains and entertainment products, and laugh all the way to the bank. Who needs a war when your opponents are rapidly decaying internally? Oh well, maybe the conservatives will be lucky enough to have Jebus come save us in the nick of time. Then again, I did hear that God only helps those who help themselves.

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Little is known about North Korea's reclusive leader, but some analysts say that behind his eccentric outward appearance lies a skilled tactician. Observers point out that the escalating tension over the country's nuclear capabilities helps prove that point. Kim Jong Il took control of state apparatus following the death of his 82-year-old father Kim Il Sung in 1994.

Diplomatic relations with Pyongyang were initiated by the US adminstration under Bill Clinton but President George W Bush has had a more aggressive approach, cutting off those ties. Kim Jong Il's reclusive style of leadership has not been helped by a fear of flying. He has made only three known trips abroad. With a cult status surrounding father and son inside North Korea, it is all the more difficult for those outside to separate fact from fiction.


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As I say, they have friends. And that's the main problem. While Russia, China, and the United States, serious nations, are "with their assholes in their hands" about nuclear war and wouldn't dare to throw a missile these times, North Korea, as a more extreme nation, would eventually attack someone with this one. They attack Japan with a nuke, Japan, enraged, attacks the DPRK by conventional means, China defends their ally, the US comes to back up Japan, and Russia eventually is dragged in, concerned with the war happening with their friends ON their backyard. Use your imagination! tongue.gif

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In case of a nuclear strike of North Korea against South Korea or Japan, the US would launch a nuclear counter-attack - both nations are allied with the US. And no nation on this planet would defend North Korea - nobody cooperates with a nation that actually uses a first-strike-policy.


China is very pissed because of the North Korean nuclear test. Don't forget that.

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