On Tuesday, North Korea conducted its third nuclear test. North Korea said the test was merely its “first response” to what it called threats from the United States. It warned it would continue with acts of “greater intensity” if Washington maintained its hostility.
The underground test set off powerful seismic waves. It also shook the geopolitical landscape of Western powers. The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting on Tuesday morning to discuss the test.
Ban Ki-moon, UN secretary general, said: “The test is a clear and grave violation of the relevant resolutions of the Security Council.”
Susan Rice, U.S. Ambassador to the UN, said: “North Korea does not and will not benefit from violating international law.”
The timing of the test is significant. It came just hours before President Obama’s State of the Union speech and only days before the birthday of Kim Jong Il, Kim Jong Un’s dead father. North Korea’s propaganda machines repeatedly link Kim Jong Il to the country’s nuclear ambitions. 2013 also marks the 60th anniversary of the end of the Korean War.
This latest nuclear test adds to a growing list of Pyongyang’s acts of aggression against America.
In 2006 and 2009, North Korea is believed to have tested plutonium devices. Then in 2010, the country revealed a uranium enrichment program, which would give it a second source of bomb-making materials. In January, North Korea said the U.S. is the primary target for its nuclear tests and long-range rocket launches. Its goal is to build a nuclear bomb that can fit onto a missile capable of striking the U.S.
Despite the Western world’s voiced disapproval, North Korea continues toward its goal unhindered. Expect the West to continue rebuking North Korea while failing to act until it is too late. ▪