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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

North Korea conducts nuclear test

north korea, nuclear test World powers condemned North Korea today after it said it conducted an underground nuclear test and the UN Security Council prepared a stern response that could further impoverish and isolate the communist state.
China, Pyongyang's strongest political and economic backer, denounced the test by its neighbor as ''brazen,'' and urged it to avoid action that could worsen the situation. Russian President Vladimir Putin also condemned the test.

US President George W. Bush called it a ''provocative act'' that threatened international peace and security and required an immediate response from the U.N. Security Council.

Today's announcement by Pyongyang sharply escalated world concerns over North Korea's nuclear program and was a slap in the face for major regional and world powers engaged in six-party talks intended to prevent just such a test.

It delivered a sharp blow to Chinese President Hu Jintao's doctrine of using economic incentives and diplomatic coaxing to avert North Korea's drive to become a nuclear weapons state. Only seven states have acknowledged having nuclear weapons.

ECONOMIC IMPACT North Korea's announcement pushed the dollar to an eight-month high against the yen and helped shove oil above $60 a barrel. South Korea's won fell to two-month lows, but US blue chip stocks were little changed.

Bush said North Korea had been a leading proliferator of missile technology, including transfers to Iran and Syria, and warned Pyongyang against such a transfer of nuclear weapons.
''The transfer of nuclear weapons or material by North Korea to states or non-state entities would be considered a grave threat to the United States and we would hold North Korea fully accountable for consequences of such action,'' he said.

Bush said he spoke by phone to leaders of China, South Korea, Japan and Russia -- the other parties involved in long-stalled negotiations with North Korea -- and all agreed that the test was unacceptable.

While stressing his commitment to diplomacy, Bush said he had told South Korea and Japan that ''the United States will meet the full range of our deterrent and security commitments'' in the Asia-Pacific region.


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