Tuesday, October 10, 2006

DPRK Conducts Nuclear Weapons Test Defying US Administration

Korean Central News Agency Statement on Nuclear Weapons Test in the DPRK

"The field of scientific research in the DPRK (North 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 as radioactive emission in the course of the nuclear test as it was carried out under a scientific consideration and careful calculation.

"The nuclear test was conducted with indigenous wisdom and technology 100%. 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 defence capability.

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

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/10/09 05:05:59 GMT

Workers World Party
55 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011

For immediate release
Contact: Deirdre Griswold
October 9, 2006

WWP statement on crisis in Korea

Washington Created the Crisis; It Must End It

Stop War Threats; No Sanctions against the DPRK!

Respect Korean Sovereignty--Sign a Peace Treaty Now!

The present crisis arises directly out of the implacable hostility of the U.S. imperialist government to the socialist government of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

The DPRK has been trying for over 50 years to get Washington to end its threats and provocations, normalize relations and sign a peace treaty ending the Korean War. During that war, which ended in 1953 with a cease-fire, U.S.-led forces killed 4 million Koreans and leveled the North with saturation bombing.

Instead of moving toward peace and responding to the DPRK's numerous proposals for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, the Bush administration has branded the DPRK as part of an "axis of evil," has put it on a terrorist list and targeted it for "regime change." The DPRK is encircled by a naval armada of U.S. guided missile destroyers, bomber and fighter squadrons, nuclear weapons and 30,000 U.S. troops in South Korea. The Pentagon has repeatedly carried out menacing military maneuvers directed at the DPRK.

Washington has not only refused to guarantee the safety of the DPRK but has reserved the right to launch a "preemptive strike" against it and, in its Nuclear Posture Review of 2002, declared its right to use nuclear weapons against the DPRK.

The North Korean government has been branded "unpredictable" and therefore "dangerous" by the propagandists for war in the capitalist media. This is nonsense. Given all the unrelenting U.S. military threats--plus the fact that the U.S. government has only recently overthrown the government of Iraq by unilateral, unprovoked military force--the DPRK's efforts to develop an effective deterrent against military, and possibly nuclear, attack are entirely predictable, totally defensible and a matter of national survival.

Washington has created the present crisis. The people of the United States and the world must demand that Washington end the crisis by abandoning its threats and provocations, dropping its demand for sanctions, and sitting down and negotiating the normalization of relations with the DPRK, including the signing of a peace treaty to end the more than 50 years of U.S. imperialist aggression in the region.

World People Urged to Heighten Vigilance against U.S. "War on Terrorism"

Pyongyang, October 6 (KCNA) -- U.S. President Bush in a speech as regards the lapse of five years since the "September 11 incident" described "anti-terrorism war" as "a battle for civilization" and "duty of the U.S." This reflects the U.S. criminal intention to escalate the "anti-terrorism war" worldwide, observes Rodong Sinmun Friday in a signed article. The "anti-terrorism war" fought by the U.S. for the past five years was an escalation of war of aggression and state-sponsored terrorism to eliminate anti-imperialist independent countries from the world, the article says, and goes on:

Anti-imperialist independent countries have been targets of the U.S. "war on terrorism."

The American political mode and lifestyle cannot be accepted by other countries. It is quite natural, therefore, that they cannot accept them. The U.S. sacrifices those countries for its "war on terrorism", taking issue with their exercises of sovereign rights. This is unlawful high-handed practices and brigandish state-sponsored terrorism.

The U.S. "war on terrorism" is a major stumbling block lying in the way of the peaceful progress in the new century. The U.S.
imperialists' aggressive escalation of "war on terrorism" prompts the formation of new structure of forces, fierce competition of strength among big powers and many countries are embroiled in it directly or indirectly.

Anyone can fall victim to the U.S. "war on terrorism" unless one heightens vigilance against it, the article warns, stressing that this is a lesson the world has drawn from the U.S. "war on terrorism."

N Korea 'nuclear test' condemned

The UN Security Council has strongly condemned North Korea's claim to have tested a nuclear weapon.

The council is now considering its next steps, including sanctions that could be enforceable by military means.

The US has proposed a draft resolution which includes powers to inspect cargo and close air and sea ports to North Korean ships and planes.

President George W Bush said the US was working to confirm the test claim, branding it a "provocative" act.

He said he and regional leaders agreed North Korea's actions were unacceptable and deserved an immediate UN response.

Current Security Council President Kenzo Oshima, of Japan, urged North Korea to refrain from further testing and return to six-party talks.

The Americans have circulated a 13-point draft resolution seeking targeted sanctions. The proposals include:
Halting trade in material that could be used to make weapons of mass destruction;
Inspections of cargo going in and out of North Korea;
The ending of financial transactions used to support nuclear proliferation;
A ban on the import of luxury goods.

The US also wants to see the sanctions brought under Chapter Seven of the UN Charter, which means they would be mandatory and ultimately enforceable by military means.

UK Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett also said London would be "pushing for a robust response" under Chapter Seven.

However, the Russians and Chinese - who have trade links with North Korea - have been reluctant to go down that path, says the BBC's Laura Trevelyan at the UN in New York.

US ambassador to the UN John Bolton told the BBC: "If the Security Council of the United Nations can't deal with a threat like that then we have to ask what role it could have in dealing with weapons of mass destruction around the world.

But North Korea's ambassador, Pak Gil Yon, said the Security Council should congratulate Pyongyang instead of issuing "useless" resolutions.


In his first public statement since the reported test, US President Bush said the North Korean claim "constitutes a threat to international peace and security."

Mr Bush said he had telephoned Chinese, Japanese, Russian and South Korean leaders, who had all reaffirmed their commitment to a nuclear-free Korean peninsula.

"Once again, North Korea has defied the will of the international community, and the international community will respond," he said.

"The North Korea regime remains one of the world's leading proliferators of missile technology, including transfers to Iran and Syria."

Mr Bush added that the development would not help North Korea's "oppressed and impoverished" people, who deserved a better future.

Earlier Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe - during a visit to Seoul - called the claimed test "unpardonable".

He warned the region was "entering a new, dangerous nuclear age".

South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun feared the move could "spark a nuclear arms build-up in other countries".

In an unusually strong statement, China - the closest the isolated North has to an ally - said the claimed test "defied the universal opposition of international society".

Meanwhile, the head of the South's intelligence service said it had detected more movement at another North Korean test site and he could not rule out further nuclear tests.

'No radiation leak'

South Korean media said the test took place in Gilju in Hamgyong province at 1036 (0136 GMT).

The size of the bomb is uncertain, with estimates varying from 550 tons of destructive power to as much as 15 kilotons. The 1945 Hiroshima bomb was 12.5-15 kilotons.

Correspondents say the claimed test does not necessarily mean North Korea has a fully-fledged nuclear bomb, or a warhead that it can deliver to a target.

North Korea's KCNA news agency described the test as an "historic event that brought happiness to our military and people".

It said the test as a success and was "a great leap forward in the building of a great prosperous, powerful socialist nation".

Pyongyang pulled out of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 2003 and has refused for a year to attend talks aimed at ending its nuclear ambitions.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/10/10 00:57:43 GMT

Factfile: N Korea's nuclear capability

Monday 09 October 2006 3:36 AM GMT

North Korea has an extensive missile programme

North Korea's central news agency says that the country has conducted its first nuclear test, less than a week after it announced it would do so.

Here are some facts about North Korea's nuclear programme:

The facility

North Korea's nuclear programme is centred at Yongbyon, about 100km north of Pyongyang, the capital. The complex consists of a five-megawatt reactor and a plutonium reprocessing plant, where weapons-grade material would be extracted from spent fuel rods.

Extracting fissile material

Experts and intelligence reports indicated that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea had extracted enough fissile material from Yongbyon to produce one or two nuclear weapons by the early 1990s.

In October 1994, the US and North Korea struck a deal to freeze the Yongbyon complex in exchange for more proliferation-resistant reactors to be built by an international consortium. That project has been cancelled.


In October 2003, Pyongyang said it had enhanced its nuclear deterrent by reprocessing 8,000 spent fuel rods from Yongbyon. US intelligence experts said the North could extract enough fissile material from those rods for another four to six weapons.

In February 2005, North Korea declared for the first time that it had nuclear weapons.

In May 2005, North Korea said it had extracted more fuel rods from Yongbyon. Proliferation experts said this could eventually provide enough material for another two or three atomic bombs.

The tally

A conservative estimate would be that North Korea has enough fissile material for at least six to eight nuclear weapons, proliferation experts have said, with some saying it could have enough for more than a dozen.

Delivering a weapon

It is impossible to say whether North Korea has built a workable nuclear weapon. Experts have said the secretive state has conducted many tests on nuclear bomb-related technologies.

North Korea has an extensive missile programme, but no one is sure if the country can make a nuclear weapon small enough to mount on a warhead.

North Korea test-fired seven missiles on July 5, including its long-range Taepodong-2 with a range some experts said could one day reach US territory.

On October 9, North Korea's official news agency reported that a successful underground test had been carried out.

"Our science research section has safely and successfully conducted an underground nuclear test on October 9," it said.

You can find this article at:

Factfile: Underground nuclear testing

Nuclear devices are often tested underground to prevent radioactive material released in the explosion reaching the surface and contaminating the environment, and to ensure a degree of secrecy.

The release of radiation from an underground nuclear explosion - an effect known as "venting" - would give away clues to the technical composition and size of a country's device, and therefore its nuclear capability.


The test site is carefully geologically surveyed to ensure suitability. Such tests usually take place well away from population centres

The nuclear device is placed into a drilled hole or tunnel usually between 200-800 metres below the surface, and several metres wide.

A lead-lined canister containing monitoring equipment is lowered into the shaft above the chamber. The hole is then plugged with gravel, sand, gypsum and other fine materials to contain the explosion and fallout underground.


The device is remotely detonated from a surface control bunker. The nuclear explosion vaporises subterranean rock, creating an underground chamber filled with superheated radioactive gas.

As this cools, a pool of molten rock collects at the bottom of the chamber.

Minutes or hours later as pressure falls, the chamber collapses in on itself causing subsidence and a crater to appear on the surface.

North Korea is believed to have conducted a test of a relatively small device at a site called P'unggye-yok in a remote area in the east of the country, near Gilju.

Recent satellite images appear to show a number of buildings and earthworks in keeping with other nuclear test sites.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/10/09 12:30:57 GMT

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