North Korea Third Nuclear Test Is Condemned By China: Is The World In Danger? [VIDEO]
Tensions mount as North Korea conducted its third nuclear test Tuesday, claiming to have made significant progress in building a nuclear bomb small enough to fit inside a long-range ballistic missile capable of reaching the United States. According to the Associated Press, the latest underground test caused a powerful seismic wave that simulated earthquake conditions at a remote and snowy northeastern region of North Korea.
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While North Korea is aware of the United Nation's disapproval of their nuclear activity, the country claims that the tests are a national response to so-called threats from the United States. In fact, North Korea promises to take their tests to what they call "second and third measures of greater intensity" if Washington dares maintain its hostility. Ever since the Korean War of 1950 to 1953, the United States has been considered their greatest enemy and strongest threat. According to North Korea, the building of nuclear weapons is an act of defense against the U.S. The United States currently stations more than 28,000 troops in South Korea.
From its vocal opposition against the U.S. to its strong nuclear shock waves, even China, North Korea's strongest ally, has summoned the North Korea ambassador to end the international provocations.
United States President Barack Obama is scheduled to issue a State of the Union address later on Tuesday. No doubt, a major segment of the Union address will be dedicated to America's foreign policy and its obstacles with North Korea. The Associated Press noted that Obama had previously said nuclear tests "do not make North Korea more secure." In fact, Obama has said North Korea will grow "increasingly isolated and impoverish its people through its ill-advised pursuit of weapons of mass destruction,"
The UN ordered North Korea to end its nuclear activity or face more sanctions and international isolation. Sanctions will most likely come from the United States and a handful of other countries at a time when the poor country of North Korea is still trying to get its economy on its feet and expand its international trade. If North Korea goes unpunished, the UN is concerned that Pyongyang will become a hub for great quantities of weapons of mass destruction, a major threat to international peace and stability.
The nuclear tests on Tuesday are the first since Kim Jong Un became North Korea's new leader. The timing of the test is no coincidence. Not only is the test reported just hours before Obama's speech, Tuesday is less than a week before the Saturday birthday of Kim Jong Il, Kim Jong Un's father. Furthermore, 2013 also marks the 60th anniversary of the Korean War. Finally, South Korean President-elect Park Geun-hye will be inaugurated in late February.
According to American nuclear scientist Siegfried Hecker, North Korea is already estimated to have enough weaponized plutonium for up to eight bombs. What's more, Pyongyang revealed a program to enrich uranium as early as 2010. Uranium is a more threatening element than plutonium as facilities for Uranium release lower amounts of radiation, causing it to be more difficult to detect and monitor. Causing even higher tensions, highly enriched uranium is also easier than plutonium to engineer into a warhead.
North Korea's ultimate goal is to finally build a nuclear warhead capable of reaching U.S. soil. In December 2012, North Korea sent its first long-range rocket to release a satellite into space orbit. North Korea launched the rocket under the guise of scientific research.
The warhead is not only a direct threat to its bordering country South Korea as well as the United States, but the UN Security Council is being driven to action as well. Japanese officials are also requesting North Korea to end the nuclear tests.
Finally, China expressed firm opposition but also asked for calm negotiations from both sides. Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi spoke with North Korea's ambassador and demanded North Korea to "swiftly return to the correct channel of dialogue and negotiation."
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