Check it out at HotAir.com.
I’m following the story on Chronicles of War.
THE PRESIDENT: “Last night the government of North Korea proclaimed to the world that it had conducted a nuclear test. We’re working to confirm North Korea’s claim. Nonetheless, such a claim itself constitutes a threat to international peace and security. The United States condemns this provocative act. Once again North Korea has defied the will of the international community, and the international community will respond.
“This was confirmed this morning in conversations I had with leaders of China, and South Korea, Russia, and Japan. We reaffirmed our commitment to a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula, and all of us agreed that the proclaimed actions taken by North Korea are unacceptable and deserve an immediate response by the United Nations Security Council.
“The North Korean regime remains one of the world’s leading proliferator of missile technology, including transfers to Iran and Syria. The transfer of nuclear weapons or material by North Korea to states or non-state entities would be considered a grave threat to the United States, and we would hold North Korea fully accountable of the consequences of such action.
“The United States remains committed to diplomacy, and we will continue to protect ourselves and our interests. I reaffirmed to our allies in the region, including South Korea and Japan, that the United States will meet the full range of our deterrent and security commitments.
“Threats will not lead to a brighter future for the North Korean people, nor weaken the resolve of the United States and our allies to achieve the de-nuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Today’s claim by North Korea serves only to raise tensions, while depriving the North Korean people of the increased prosperity and better relations with the world offered by the implementation of the joint statement of the six-party talks. The oppressed and impoverished people of North Korea deserve that brighter future.”
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. (0136 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.
Late Sunday in Washington, the U.S. military told CNN it believed the report to be true, but was working to fully confirm it.
Senior U.S. officials said they also believed the test took place.
MSNBC has the KCNA announcment:
“The field of scientific research in the DPRK successfully conducted an underground nuclear test under secure conditions on October 9, 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 as 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 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.”
The South Koreans are scrambling:
South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun called up an emergency security meeting just before the North’s announcement.
The South Korean intelligence had reported to the president that 3.58 magnitude seismic tremor was detected from Hwadaeri near Gilju at 10:36 a,m.
I’m bracing for a completely underwhelming response on our part. With events like this, Iran’s behavior, and the situation in Iraq it’s difficult to see our position as anything but weakening. It will be interesting to see what happens in South Korea, Taiwan, and especially Japan. Further militarization of our allies in the region seems inevitable but that will seriously threaten China. To call this act destabilizing is an understatement.
Reviewing the Chronicle’s report it appears that Donald Rumsfeld and I are in agreement:
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Thursday that a successful North Korean nuclear weapon test would show weakness on the part of the international community.
“And that failure … is something that the international community would have to register and ask itself how comfortable are we being that ineffective in this situation,” Rumsfeld said.
However, the real problem for us (if we fail to act decisively) is that the bad guys will read this as primarily American weakness.
The International Herald Tribune looks at possible next steps:
LONG-TERM: Other Asian nations, including Japan or South Korea, may seek their own atomic weapons as a safeguard against a nuclear-armed North Korea, possibly triggering a wider arms race that threatens regional stability.
Additional economic sanctions against North Korea may further weaken an already poor and isolated nation.
The risk of nuclear proliferation increases with an impoverished North Korea possible selling nuclear technology to terrorists or other countries.
North Korean Media
Korean Central News Agency (KCNA)
The media isn’t paying it much attention but according to recent reports French muslims are injuring an average of 14 police officers a day. 2,500 have been injured already this year. They’re calling some suburbs “no-go zones” and asking for armored cars. After reading this it sounds like armored cars might not be enough protection.
“Before, youths were in a mind-set of provocation,” Laurent Ysem, chief of the Unsa police union, told the Associated Press. “Now, they come to get the cops.”
He ought to know. This year, 2,500 police have been injured by young Islamic thugs in Paris’ ghettolike “banlieues,” amounting to 14 wounded cops per day.
A week ago Sunday, in the Paris suburb of Les Mureaux, Islamic youths attacked two patrolmen who tried to ticket an immigrant on a seat belt violation. He refused to stop and smashed through a police car blocking his path.
After that, hundreds of attackers poured onto the streets, burning a police car and attacking officers, leaving one with a double skull fracture.
Some officials are calling it civil war, others an “undeclared intifada”, and some even dismiss it as nothing more than criminal gangs pushing back in the face of a police crackdown.
“We are in a state of civil war, orchestrated by radical Islamists. This is not a question of urban violence any more, it is an intifada, with stones and Molotov cocktails. You no longer see two or three youths confronting police, you see whole tower blocks emptying into the streets to set their ‘comrades’ free when they are arrested.”
He added: “We need armoured vehicles and water cannon. They are the only things that can disperse crowds of hundreds of people who are trying to kill police and burn their vehicles
However, Gerard Demarcq, of the largest police unions, Alliance, dismissed talk of an “intifada” as representing the views of only a minority.
While this activity isn’t really new it does sound like it may be intensifying. Ultimately the secular and religious distinctions may be irrelevant. This is fertile breeding ground for radical Islam and unless France finds a solution quickly the secular radicals might find religion.
Wikipedia’s “Islam in France” entry does a pretty good job of breaking down this issue.
This is crossposted on Chronicles of War.