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After Successful Missile Launch,

North Korea Threatens New

Nuclear Test
By Austin RamzyJan. 24, 201312 Comments TIME MAGAZINE

When North Korea put a satellite into orbit last month, it declared that the launch was
an exercise of its right to use space for peaceful purposes and denounced criticism by
the U.S. and others that it was carrying out a ballistic missile test meant to threaten its
neighbors. On Tuesday the U.N. Security Council voted unanimously to condemn the
launch, which it said was banned under previous resolutions, and moved to strengthen
existing sanctions. Today North Korea responded angrily to the Security Councils
move, declaring that it may soon carry out another nuclear testthe isolated
totalitarian states thirda move its National Defense Commission said was aimed at
the U.S.
Any notion that the recent satellite launch was purely peaceful was seemingly blown up
in the bellicose statement by the leading military body in the country officially known as
the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, or the DPRK. We do not hide that a
variety of satellites and long-range rockets which will be launched by the DPRK one
after another and a nuclear test of higher level which will be carried out by it in the

upcoming all-out action, a new phase of the anti-U.S. struggle that has lasted century
after century, will target against the U.S., the sworn enemy of the Korean people, the
defense commissions statement read, according to the official KCNA news service.
U.S. special representative for North Korea policy Glyn Davies, who landed Wednesday
in Seoul for a trip that will include visits to China and Japan, said upon his arrival that it
would be a mistake for North Korea to carry out another nuclear test. We would call
on them not to engage in further provocations, and we are joined by the international
community in that appeal, Davies said in comments made a day before the North
Korean defense commission announced nuclear test plans. Now is not a time to make
the situation on the Korean Peninsula any more tense.
North Korea and its Kim family rulers are often portrayed as unstable actors, but the
latest move follows a well-worn path, says Daniel Pinkston, North East Asia Deputy
Project Director for the International Crisis Group, an non-governmental organization
aimed at reducing the risk of military conflict. Over the years theyve said the same
thing again and again, says Pinkston. People say North Koreans are very
unpredictable or whatever, but this is very predictable.
The internal logic of the countrys military-first doctrine means that ideas of
international cooperation and collective security are not only ineffective but dangerous
to the survival of the regime. Thus a show of force is how North Korea has typically
responded to condemnation of its previous ballistic endeavors, with its 2006 nuclear
detonation coming three months after a missile test and its 2009 nuclear test coming
just weeks after another missile test. The U.N. Security Council condemnation of North
Koreas December satellite launch also froze any foreign assets of the the countrys
space program leaders and barred two of its leaders and two banking officials from
international travel. Such steps will likely anger North Korea, which is still celebrating
its first successful satellite launch, says Pinkston. These people who were named,
theyre like their great national heroes, he says.
South Koreas defense ministry has said that North Korea appears ready to test a
nuclear device, the Yonhap news agency reported. China, North Koreas only major ally,
went along with the U.N. Security Councils condemnation of Pyongyang on Tuesday.
Responding to the latest threat of a nuclear test, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman
called for calm and restraint, Reuters reported. A similar line was repeated before the
December missile launch, to little avail.