Friday, January 5, 2007

North Korea to test again?

According to ABC News, Defense officials have pontificated that the North Korea is preparing for another nuclear test. I'm a little suspicious about this myself because as Dr. Jeffery over at ACW points out, Reuters is quoting officials from other corners of the Intelligence Community who think otherwise. I'm not a huge fan of the DIA, so I decided to so look east and see what is percolating in the Japanese press: - The Chunichi Shimbun, Nikkei News, CNN Japan, and (my preferred periodical) Yomiuri Shimbun have all picked on the story, but they all cite the original ABC News piece or 'the American media' more generally as sources. Nothing of interest to report so far. - The Yomiuri has a posted a short wire piece on the Japanese cabinet's official reaction: Second North Korean nuclear test will yield a severe response, Prime Minister tells foreign press January 5, 2007
On the night of January 5th, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe discretely responded to the BBC and Reuters internet wire service from his official residence. According to the Cabinet press office, the Prime Minister stated "(In the event of a precipitous nuclear test) Japan and the interntional community will respond by taking severe measures" in refernce to reports that North Korea is preparing to conduct a repeat of its October 2006 nuclear test. He pointed out that "North Korea is involved in the proliferation of nuclear weapons. The understanding and cooperation of European Union and NATO members in stemming North Korean proliferation has been indispensible. The countries of the world view the kidnapping [ed. of Japanese citizens by North Korea in the 1970s] question as a gross violation of international human rights that must be tackled.
That is pretty hum-drum stuff coming from the occasionally belicose Abe.

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