Foreign Policy Diary – North Korea: Hydrogen Bomb Test

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On January 6, North Korea successfully tested a miniaturized hydrogen nuclear device, according to the state broadcaster, KCTV. North Korea’s state news agency later stressed in a statement that Pyongyang will continue to build up its nuclear program as deterrence against potential aggression from the United States. The statement further underscored that North Korea will act as a responsible nuclear state, and will use its nuclear armament only to defend its sovereignty. North Korea also vowed that it will not transfer its nuclear capabilities to other parties. If true, this is the first such device fielded by Pyongyang.

Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) said in a statement on Wednesday that seismic activity in North Korea took place near the country’s nuclear test site. Initial estimates gave readings measuring between 4.2 and 5.1 magnitude. A nuclear bomb test in the same area in 2013 triggered a 5.1-magnitude quake.

This is the fourth such test by North Korea since 2006, while Washington has made it clear it will not engage with the North until it suspends or even reverses its nuclear and missile programs. From Pyongyang’s perspective, however, a viable nuclear program is its only guarantee of avoiding any future attempt by the United States to try to trigger a “color revolution” in North Korea, or even carry out military action against Pyongyang.

A new test by the North raises tension on and around the Korean Peninsula. However, from the North’s point of view, any step that strengthens its long-term position is worth the minor disruptions to its relations with outside powers, especially, amid the destructive Western policy in the Middle East and Central Asia. Thus, the North Korea nuclear issue is merely a part of the ongoing deterioration of the international relations.

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  • nuffalready

    Another reminder that the regime-change, color revolution, false-flag days are over

  • Terry Lawrence

    Korea is not two countries. It is one country, like post-war Germany, China, or Vietnam were, with the southern half occupied by 30,000 American troops and their naval, air force, and army bases. The Korean civil war was the attempt by Korea to get the US troops, bases, and puppet regime out of their country and reunite it, as China did about the same time, and Vietnam 25 years later.

    I would say the development of nuclear weapons by “North” Korea is a stabilizing factor rather than a destabilizing one. It is their insurance policy against the US use of tactical nuclear weapons or another all-out bombing campaign like the barbaric war crime committed against them by the US in the early 1950’s. Their ability to obliterate US bases in Japan and “South” Korea, and maybe even an carrier task force with nuclear weapons makes the US a lot less likely to start a bombing campaign along the lines of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Panama, Iraq (twice), Yugoslavia, Libya, and currently Syria.

    Had those countries had nuclear weapons and delivery systems, the US would never have attacked them, or at least, not militarily.

    The government of North Korea may be a Stalinist Monarchy, but it has done nothing either “reckless” or confrontational, unless you consider defending yourself against constant threats and attacks by the second most notorious nation of war criminals in human history to be confrontational.

    The anti-Vietnam war movement of the 1960’s only became a significant factor in the US because of the draft. Most of the US working class didn’t give a $hit about the mass murder of people in Indochina; they were just worried about their sons or themselves getting drafted and injured or killed by the heroic resistance of the NLF and North Vietnam.

    The Generals realized that and switched to an all-volunteer army and the use of warfare methods like cruise missiles, bombing, and drones that minimize US causalities, removed the carnage from the TV “News”, and the anti-war movement in the US disappeared while the wars continued. If the people of North Korea want to stay alive and intact, they need to be able to kill a lot of American troops if the US attacks them. That is the only thing that has ever deterred the US from bombing or invading anyone.