North Korea and Nukes
The madness of Kim Jong-il
October 10, 2006 12:00am
North Korea's lonely, eccentric dictator has shaken the world. Is he mad or just plain bad? Cameron Stewart investigates:
IN his marble palace in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang, a small, plump man wearing a grey Mao suit and oversized glasses is likely to be hunched over his computer today, analysing the world's media on the internet.
Kim Jong-il, the world's most reclusive leader, likes nothing better than to monitor closely the impact of his maverick ways on the rest of the world.
"He is very knowledgeable about what goes on in the international scene," said former South Korean president Kim Dae-jung.
If so, then Kim Jong-il will be only too aware that he has now confirmed - in the most audacious and frightening manner - his reputation as the world's most dangerous leader. The 65-year-old North Korean dictator's decision to explode a nuclear bomb is the most dramatic step in a life marked by eccentric brinkmanship.
It will force the rest of the world to confront what the CIA has been trying to work out for years - is Kim barking mad or just bad?
Or both? Read more.
N.Korea ‘Tests Nuke'
North Korea said Monday it has successfully tested a nuclear device. "The field of scientific research in [North Korea] successfully conducted an underground nuclear test under secure conditions on Oct. 9, 2006,” the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said. “There was no danger of radioactive emissions in the course of the nuclear test as it was carried out under scientific considerations and careful calculation.”
In South Korea, a state-run geological institute detected a tremor of 3.58-3.7 magnitude in a remote area of North Korea’s North Hamgyeong Province at 10:35 a.m. on Monday and immediately reported it to President Roh Moo-hyun, according to Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Yoon Tae-young.
President Roh called an urgent National Security Council meeting. “North Korea’s self-proclaimed nuclear test is an intolerable provocation, and the government will respond sternly on the principle that it is unacceptable for North Korea to possess nuclear weapons,” the NSC said in a statement. “The government will closely cooperate on this issue with the international community,” Yoon said. “We particularly support an immediate discussion of the issue by the UN Security Council.” Read more.
Picture stolen from here.
U.N. to resume North Korea debate
POSTED: 5:58 a.m. EDT, October 10, 2006
(CNN) -- U.N. Security Council members will resume closed-door discussions Tuesday of U.S.-proposed sanctions against North Korea over its claimed nuclear test.
The resumption of talks at the United Nations comes as America's lead negotiator on North Korean issues urged sanctions that are tough enough to show North Korean leader Kim Jong Il that he made a "very, very costly" mistake if a test was indeed carried out.
"He is going to really rue the day that he made this decision," said Assistant Secretary of State Chris Hill Monday in an interview with CNN.
The U.S. proposals include cargo inspections and an embargo on goods that could be used in Pyongyang's missile and nuclear programs.
North Korea's announcement triggered widespread international condemnation and set off alarm bells in neighboring capitals. (World reaction)
On Tuesday, South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun said his country would reconsider its policy of engagement with the North, according to a report from the Reuters news service.
Australia said it would impose various measures on North Korea, including curtailing visas and supporting any U.N. sanctions. Japan said it was weighing stricter economic sanctions against its isolated neighbor.
Even close ally China vented its anger against its communist ally over the test for a second day on Tuesday, with a spokesman saying that relations had been harmed between Beijing and Pyongyang.
"The nuclear test will undoubtedly exert a negative impact on our relations," the spokesman, Liu Jianchao, said in a report from The Associated Press. Liu said Monday's test was done "flagrantly, and in disregard of the international community's shared opposition." Read more.