North Korean nuclear test condemned

13 October 2006

Reports from the national news agencies of communist North Korea announcing a successful underground detonation of a nuclear device have been widely condemned.

Although North Korea does not have a civil nuclear programme following the breakdown of negotiations with the west over the development of two light water reactors, the rogue nation has apparently, nonetheless, become the world’s ninth acknowledged nuclear power.

Russia is, so far, the only country to have confirmed Pyongyang’s claims and considerable uncertainty remains over the size and design of the device. Even so, the move has prompted widespread revulsion, even among its traditional ally China and significant economic sanctions are now expected to follow.

Greenpeace also condemned the test with Steve Shallhorn, executive director of Greenpeace Australia Pacific saying: “Pyongyang has underscored the dangerous connection between nuclear research, nuclear power and nuclear weapons.”

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