Paul KerrMore Norky Goodness

For those of you taking a break from your glue binge, some additional items:

1. Here’s the text of North Korea’s statement on the nuclear tests:

The field of scientific research in the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] successfully conducted an underground nuclear test under secure conditions on October 9, Juche 95 [2006] 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.

It has been confirmed that there was no such danger from radioactive emission in the course of the nuclear test, as it was carried out under scientific consideration and careful calculation.

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.

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

2. AFP has the elements of a US-sponsored draft sanctions resolution:

The diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the inspections were part of 13 elements for a draft resolution circulated by US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton earlier Monday to punish Pyongyang for its first-ever nuclear weapons test.

US media have quoted intelligence officials saying one option being considered is to have US and allied naval forces intercept and search all North Korean bound shipping for weapons-related material.

The diplomat said the tentative draft “would authorize international inspection of cargo to and from North Korea to limit proliferation” and “prohibit trade in all materials with direct or dual use application for weapons of mass destruction (WMD).”

Other elements would also call for suspending “all activities related to (North Korea’s) ballistic missile programs”, urge “member states to take steps to ensure their territory is not used to facilitate WMD-related activities” and bar “financial transactions that support missile activities.”

[snip]

The US ideas would have the council “prohibit trade in all military goods and services” as well as “trade in luxury goods”, “freeze assets and transactions associated with WMD” and take steps “to prevent abuse of financial system”, an apparent reference to alleged counterfeiting activities by the North, according to the diplomat.

The tentative draft would also condemn Monday’s test and reinforce missile-related sanctions passed by the Security Council last July after Pyongyang test-fired seven missiles in Japan’s direction, including a long-range Taepodong-2 believed to be capable of striking US soil.

The US suggestions, to be taken up by council experts later Monday, call for a review of North Korea’s “response” and “the need for additional action in 30 days

3. In a previous post, I alluded to the fact that, if the Norks wanted to keep ascending the escalation ladder, they would be hard-pressed to come up with something else to top a nuclear test. I can’t say that I thought about what they’d do if the test failed, but it seems like they may just go back to the drawing board. They will also likely maintain their calls for a diplomatic solution via the six-party talks and/or bilateral negotiations with the US.

(I think I also said that the chance of a test was “fairly low.” Damn it.)

Anyway, North Korea’s previous missile tests may suggest a sort of precedent for this. Recall that the first test of the TD-1 failed (because the third stage didn’t separate), but North Korea didn’t test another longer-range missile until this past July. After the first test, in fact, North Korea adopted its unilateral missile flight-testing moratorium.

In any case, the South Korean NIS seems to think that North Korea may have another one ready to go, the AP reports:

The chief of South Korea’s intelligence agency said Monday that North Korea could possibly conduct additional nuclear tests, a lawmaker briefed by him said.

Kim Seung-kyu, head of the National Intelligence Service, made the comment at a meeting of the parliamentary intelligence committee, saying his agency detected the movement of about 15 people at a suspected underground test site at Punggye-ri, in northeastern North Korea, according to the lawmaker, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the information’s sensitive nature.

“Kim didn’t say the movement at Punggye-ri indicates North Korea is planning more tests. But still, he said there is a high possibility of North Korea conducting additional tests, as India and Pakistan did,” the lawmaker told The Associated Press.

Another lawmaker, Rep. Yoo Sun-ho of the ruling Uri Party, also confirmed that the spy chief said his agency detected “abnormal signs” at Punggye-ri, but said he doesn’t believe the intelligence report was meaningful. He didn’t elaborate.

AP, however, also has this account of North Korea’s UN Ambassador being asked about the chance of another test:

Pak Gil Yon told reporters he was proud of the North Koreans who conducted the test, and said the Security Council ought to be, too. Asked if the North planned any more tests, Pak said: “That will be enough. You don’t think so?”

4. One wonders if the North Koreans would have conducted this test if their July TD-2 launch attempt had succeeded. It could well be that the failure generated additional pressure from the relevant hardliners to test. Who knows?

5. The Bush administration policy has failed, in case anyone was wondering. I doubt that there’s ever been a case where there was a better chance that we could have done something to prevent a nuclear test but didn’t. I imagine this will somehow be blamed on the Clinton administration. Not that the Norks were justified in what they did.

6. Remember what Ice-T said:

we’re really in a position where we could all die. Vietnam wasn’t it, but right now, with North Korea and all these motherf*ckers, this is real shit.

Update:

Yonhap has more details on the site that ROK intel is monitoring:

South Korea’s intelligence authorities were closely monitoring another North Korean site in the country’s northeast on Monday evening as they spotted suspicious movement there that could possibly be part of preparations for another nuclear test.

The authorities were watching Punggye-ri in North Hamgyeong Province as they spotted up to 40 personnel and vehicles beginning to move around the area in the afternoon, Kim Seung-kyu, South Korea’s chief intelligence official, was quoted as saying in a parliamentary subcommittee meeting.

“We are closely watching whether Pyongyang intends to conduct another nuclear test,” he said.

Comments

  1. Andy (History)

    It’s obvious the Bush administration policy failed, but I don’t see a policy that would have succeeded in its stead. Certainly Clinton’s policy failed as well and I don’t see it as any less a failure than Bush’s.

  2. abcd

    Please tell me the US has mulled over the dangers, or at least, the consequences, of pushing through yet more financial sanctions on NK? Aren’t they aware that pushing NK to a tipping point could force them to try and make back the money spent on their nuclear program on the black market? Oh wait…

  3. j house

    NK’s nuclear conquest may be seen by some as a policy ‘failure’, but one must understand that the U.S. doesn’t always hold sway over other sovereign nation’s national security objectives.NK has always wanted the prestige and perceived security by joining the nuclear club…so does Iran.It is obvious NK had a nuclear objective long before the Bush administration showed up.That it happened during Bush’s watch was a matter of historical fate, nothing else.

  4. abcd

    J House:

    Right; and most of us would agree with the gist of your comment. However, I think the larger point is that far more action could have been taken to prevent the recent string of events in the DPRK.

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