SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – North Korea announced Monday that it successfully carried out a second underground nuclear test, less than two months after launching a rocket widely believed to be a test of its long-range missile technology.
North Korea, incensed by U.N. Security Council condemnation of its April 5 rocket launch, had warned last month that it would restart it rogue nuclear program, conduct a second atomic test as a follow-up to its first one in 2006, and carry out long-range missile tests.
On Monday, the country’s official Korean Central News Agency said the regime “successfully conducted one more underground nuclear test on May 25 as part of measures to bolster its nuclear deterrent for self-defense.”
South Korean President Lee Myung-bak convened an emergency security session. His spokesman, Lee Dong-kwan, confirmed that a North Korean nuclear test was possible.
In Washington, State Department spokesman Andy Laine said: “At this point, we’ve seen the reports and we’re trying to get more information, but we’re not able to confirm at this time.”
Seismologists from the U.S., South Korea and Japan reported activity shortly after 9:50 a.m. in a northeastern area where North Korea conducted its first nuclear test in 2006.
The Japan Meteorological Agency measured the seismic activity at magnitude-5.3. Quake expert Gen Aoki noted that its depth was “very shallow.”
Monday’s test raises the stakes in North Korea’s standoff over its nuclear and missile programs.
NOTE this came while Speaker Pelosi and John Kerry are in China for “Climate Talks”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday rebuffed U.S. calls to impose a freeze on all settlement activity in the occupied West Bank, setting the stage for friction with President Barack Obama.
“We do not intend to build any new settlements, but it wouldn’t be fair to ban construction to meet the needs of natural growth or for there to be an outright construction ban,” Netanyahu told his cabinet, according to officials. The note of defiance came less than a week after Netanyahu held talks in Washington with Obama, who wants Israel to halt all settlement activity, including natural growth, as called for under a long-stalled peace “road map”.
This came after Democrats conspired with Republicans on GITMO to tell the administration to Go Pound Sand.
President Obama – I thought your Hope and Change policy will……