May 26th, 2009
10:51 AM ET

North Korea blast is a test for U.S.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/04/22/nkorea.timeline/art.soldier.afp.gi.jpg caption="A North Korean soldier scans the southern side of the border at Panmunjom along the Demilitarized Zone."]

Paul Carroll
Special to CNN

Reports of North Korea conducting a second nuclear test Monday have caused predictable alarm bells to ring in Washington, Beijing, Seoul, Tokyo and around the world.

Pyongyang's action has rightly been condemned as a breach of international law, which it is because it violates U.N. Security Council resolutions passed in the wake of its earlier test in 2006.

But it is important to focus on two things in the aftermath of the test. First, what does this mean for the threat that North Korea poses to international security? Second, what should our next moves be?

The explosive power of the test is not yet verified, but early reports indicate that it may be in the multikiloton range, perhaps as high as 20 kilotons. That's about the same power as the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. This is significant because, if true, it would demonstrate that North Korea has improved its bomb design and fabrication skills. In short, it would show that the North is improving its nuclear bomb know-how.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • North Korea
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. lam0nt Austin

    You people are motivated by fear, If anyone has any insight you would know and they should know we were the first to detinate nuclear bombs and we also have several different ways to deploy them Nuclear sub, stealth bombers (that you cant even see coming), warships and who knows what else we have some say an experimental plane called aurora wich use all modern weapons including a microwave weapon that could destroy nuclear missles and they actually have the technology (microwave) mounted on regular dc9's now, not mention starwars. So for north korean to be just testing nuclear weapons tells you how primitive they are.

    I just feel that our display of power during ww2 encouraged other nations to obtain such weapons of mass destruction and now we're in the predicament of several countries having them and probably never using them. So all we're doing is storing something deadly for the chance of the storges being compromised by time or by theft.

    Its a shame people dont realize how much better life would be without the prospect of global destruction.

    Lamont Austin
    Tucson Az

    May 26, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  2. Lampe

    Maybe this is the big test Biden said Obama would have in his first 6 months!

    May 26, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  3. georgy gamberucci (milan)

    by now the wild beast got loose in the forest and there is nothing that will bring it back to reason, live and sane , but there is a hope, it is sick and feel hunted, when an angry animal is pursued so closely, it risks to make mistakes soon or later which will led to its capture, it has lost its better instincts and it lives only in fear and paranoid. Now it makes an easy target to the hunters, who are chasing it without rest, after it has for a numbers of time jumped the fence and stormed the farm to seek for food.

    May 26, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  4. mattR

    Is it too late to start recruiting for my own tribe of underground mole people? Srsly north korea? I mean, if you wanted a WWIII all you had to do was ask.

    May 26, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  5. Clark

    No need for North Korea to "test" the U.S. at this point in our history ....

    they are simply taking President Obama at his word .... they know that he abhors the military option and believes that talking with enemies without preconditions (and no military might to support his words) is the best way to get along with everyone.

    So they have concluded that they can push as far as they want with no real threat from the U.S. .... but this will end with giving much more prestige to China .... because they will be the ones that are shown to have enough muscle to hold North Korea in check when all the U.S. efforts go to no avail.

    May 26, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  6. Jason Silvestri

    It is all part of the plan.

    May 26, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  7. Cindy

    N. Korea is doing these tests because they know that we and the rest of the world can't do anything to them. In all actuality all we can do is talk tough and pass a few sanctions. We have already passed sanctions and see where that got us..no where! They don't care what we think and don't care about their own people so more sanctions won't bother them any.


    May 26, 2009 at 11:09 am |