North Korea Plans To Test It's Nuclear Weapons.
North Korea announced its intention to conduct a nuclear weapons test on state television earlier today, explaining that this would increase security in face of US hostility. The two countries have suffered an abysmal and almost meaningless relationship ever since the end of the Korean War in 1953; tensions have heightened in recent years.
Meanwhile China, N. Korea’s closest ally is becoming increasingly infuriated with the countries nuclear ambitions. In a short statement on Wednesday Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao urged restraint from N. Korea:
"We hope that North Korea will exercise necessary calm and restraint over the nuclear test issue,"
China wishes for the dispute to be sorted by diplomacy in the form of the ongoing Six Nations talks; between Russia, China, USA, Japan and the two Koreas aimed at solving N. Korea’s nuclear ambitions.
N. Korea has been avoiding in protest at America’s crackdown on their offshore bank accounts, which the US claims are used for illicit activities and has nothing to do with the six-party process.
The USA wishes for the matter to go to the United Nation Security Council, with sanctions probable, and even possible military action aimed at destroying N. Koreas nuclear capabilities.
N. Korea is believed to have a handful of nuclear bombs, though none have ever been tested. It has however tested its possible delivery systems for such weapons; with the launching of seven missiles in July 2006.
As the tensions mounts, it is more and more likely that Iran will look towards N. Korea to observe how the international community and especially the USA will deal with a hostile nuclear equipped state.