Friday, October 13, 2006

North Korea's Nuclear Test

The claim by North Korea that it tested a nuclear device is a most dramatic development. I say claim because there still seems to be disagreement and inconsistencies about the test. First, many have concluded that the device was around 0.5 Kilotons, which is too small for a nuclear device. India's was ~ 500 KT. So, it is not yet clear if the test failed or if it was an elaborately staged ruse. Even if it was a failed nuclear test, it is still a dangerous development because it implies they are getting close.

Some years back, the US president called Iraq, Iran and North Korea "the axis of evil". While the US was quick to attack Iraq with the most dubious claim of possesing or trying to posses "weapons of mass destruction", the other two alleged members have quitely gone ahead with their nuclear programs! So much so that the test by north Korea is like it showing the middle finger to the US.

The US is currently embroiled in the conflict in Iraq, which it cannot get out of any time soon; it seems to have little leverage with Iran and cannot do anything about Iran's defiance and now they have to deal with North Korea's nuclear test. Challenging times for US foreign policy.

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