NEWS about N. Korea Nuke
France: North Korea nuclear test was a failure
Pyongyang claims success; Japan imposes sanctions; U.S. readies resolution
Updated: 4:55 p.m
. CT Oct 11, 2006PARIS
- France said outright for the first time Wednesday that North Korea’s proclaimed nuclear test produced such a small blast that it must have failed, and analysts warned such challenging talk could lead Pyongyang to try again.
North Korea threatened more nuclear tests and said it would consider additional sanctions an act of war, stoking tensions in an already jittery Asia.
U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said the United States will formally introduce a new draft U.N. Security Council resolution on North Korea on Thursday, with the hope that it would be adopted 24 hours later,
The measure comes as the United States and Japan have said they want the council to pass a resolution imposing sanctions on North Korea over its claimed nuclear test by the end of the week. Both countries have sought to overcome China's reluctance to punish its impoverished ally too severely.
World powers stepped up a hunt for clues about the insular communist regime’s test, with Britain sending refueling jets to join Japanese aircraft trawling the skies for any traces of radiation.
The blast from North Korea’s first nuclear weapons test was believed to have been the equivalent of hundreds or even thousands of tons of TNT, and was strong enough to send seismic waves as far as Japan’s main island.
Kyodo via Reuters
North Korea's No. 2 leader, Kim Yong Nam, said Wednesday that the country's stance on additional nuclear tests would depend on U.S. policy, Japan's Kyodo news agency reported.
But verifying exactly what happened — or even determining conclusively whether it was a nuclear device — could take several more days, if not weeks, officials said Wednesday.
If some Western powers are to be believed, the alleged test announced Monday by Pyongyang had a force of one kiloton or less — equivalent to the explosive force of 1,000 tons of TNT but far less than the 15 kiloton force of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.
France’s Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie said French, American and other scientists had detected a blast of “relatively limited size.”
“In any case, if this was a nuclear explosion, it would be a case of a failed explosion,” she said on Europe-1 radio.
Speculation could be provocative
Such speculation about a dud test could be read as a challenge by Kim Jong Il, the North’s reclusive leader, to consider carrying out a second test to prove naysayers wrong, analysts said.
“The reaction could be exactly to carry out another explosion, to make sure it succeeds,” said Georges Le Guelte, a nuclear expert at France’s Institute for International and Strategic Research.http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15217370/