North Korea conducts nuclear test

This site is supposedly a good source for daily info on North Korea:

Pyongyang gave “advanced notice” of the test to the U.S. and China, a South Korean official told theYonhap news agency. John Swenson-Wright, Chatham House fellow and Senior Lecturer in East Asian studies at the University of Cambridge said:

“The test is no surprise, although reports from South Korea that the North had informed the US and China a day before the test are unusual. This may indicate a desire (perhaps misguided and naive) on the part of Pyongyang to minimize the political consequences of having tested.”

“A key question now will be determining the size and nature of the test. Expect governments and scientists to be looking for evidence of radioactive isotope gas traces, alongside signs of seismic activity, to gauge nature of tests.”

Reuters reports that Japan is considering sanctions against North Korea.

AP says China may not be very pleased.

Friends on Twitter point out that South Korea is currently chairing the UN Security Council. They’ve just called a meeting of the council at 9am.

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Reuters, South Korea’s Defense Ministry confirms the nuclear test:

North Korea conducted a nuclear test on Tuesday, South Korea’s defense ministry said, after seismic activity measuring 4.9 magnitude was registered by the U.S. Geological Survey.

It’s an interesting question as to how this affects the State of the Union address, which is taking place Tuesday night at 9pm Easter.

In part, that will depend on how this test is perceived in the morning, in the news cycle.  is this “just another news story” along with the Pope, or the makings of a possible crisis?

Then there are the Republicans.  To what degree will they – and I’m sure they will – try to argue that this North Korean nuclear test is proof that the President has empowered our enemies, been asleep on the watch, blah blah. And expect Benghazi to be invoked: “There’s a trend of foreign policy gone wrong!”

All of which may make the President put in a strong paragraph or more about North Korea, and more generally beef up any national security parts of the speech.

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The news was just confirmed by the UN Security Council:

Screen Shot 2013-02-11 at 11.27.24 PMHere’s AP.  Sounds like they haven’t heard the confirmation yet.

And let me just say, I turned on both CNN and MSNBC, and both were useless. Nothing.  So I went to Twitter, and voila.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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