| Nuclear Rumblings from N. Korea

World leaders condemned a North Korean nuclear test threat (Reuters Video), which Pyongyang claims is necessary in the face of U.S. hostility. A government statement did not disclose a date for what would be Pyongyang’s first known nuclear test, but said North Korea was compelled to follow through (Yonhap) with the test because of the “U.S. extreme threat of a nuclear war and sanctions and pressure.” Christopher Hill, the top U.S. State Deparment official on Asia-Pacific relations, gave Pyongyang a stern warning: “We are not going to live with a nuclear North Korea, we are not going to accept it.” The White House said a test would threaten East Asian security and that the United States will work with the UN Security Council and Six-Party Talk members to oppose Pyongyang’s “provocative announcement.” In 2005, North Korea walked away from talks with the United States, Japan, China, Russia, and South Korea and has refused to return to the negotiating table because of U.S. financial restrictions, specifically a clampdown on Pyongyang’s alleged counterfeiting activities (NYT).

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