Test moves North Korea closer to nuclear bomb
North Korea's latest nuclear test shows it is making steady progress toward a deliverable nuclear weapon, and the international community and China, its greatest trading partner and ally, have little influence to make it stop, analysts say.
Based on seismic evidence, “we can say with certainty they're getting better at building their nuclear device,” said Robert Avagyan of the Institute for Science and International Security, a think-tank focused on controlling the spread of nuclear weapons.
President Obama said the nuclear tests were a “highly provocative act” that endangers the United States and other Western nations. North Korea has “increasingly isolated and impoverished its people through its ill-advised pursuit of weapons of mass destruction,” he said in a statement. In an emergency session, the United Nations Security Council unanimously said the test poses “a clear threat to international peace and security” and pledged further action.
Several nations, including Russia and China, have condemned the test.
North Korea's economy is so isolated that even China, North Korea's No. 1 trading partner, political ally and patron, has little influence on North Korean decision-making, says James Acton, a proliferation expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
“North Korea's economy is extremely isolated and focused on self-reliance,” Acton said. Despite growing trade with China, there is “probably not much leverage there.”
North Korea conducted its third nuclear test Tuesday as part of a program it has said will allow it build a bomb that can reach the United States. North Korea said the atomic test was merely its “first response” to what it called U.S. threats and it will continue with unspecified “second and third measures of greater intensity” if Washington maintains its hostility.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Islamic State link with well-heeled companies or individuals targeted
- Turkish hostages freed from Islamic State, but questions linger
- Egyptian President al-Sisi feels vindicated in crackdown as Islamic extremists rise
- NATO chief: Ukraine truce ‘in name only’
- Economic powers at odds on stimulus as G20 gathers
- Mementos unearthed at Nazi death camp in Poland
- Yemeni government and Houthi rebels reach agreement, U.N. envoy says
- London must keep promises to Scotland, former Prime Minister Brown says
- Venezuelan police chief freed from jail
- Scottish teens surprise in independence vote
- Islamic State frees 49 hostages