Did the U.S. Provoke North Korean Nuclear Weapon Test?
North Korea Appears to Have Conducted a Nuclear Test
South Korean government officials said North Korea performed its first-ever nuclear weapons test Monday, the South's Yonhap news agency reported.
South Korean officials could not immediately confirm the report.
South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun convened an urgent meeting of security advisers over the issue, Yonhap reported.
The North said last week it would conduct a nuclear test as part of its deterrent against a possible U.S. invasion.
Newsweek argues that the Cheney Misadministration is responsible for provoking the North Korean test:
North Korea: A Nuclear Threat
On Sept. 19, 2005, North Korea signed a widely heralded denuclearization agreement with the United States, China, Russia, Japan and South Korea. Pyongyang pledged to "abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs." In return, Washington agreed that the United States and North Korea would "respect each other's sovereignty, exist peacefully together and take steps to normalize their relations."
Four days later, the U.S. Treasury Department imposed sweeping financial sanctions against North Korea designed to cut off the country's access to the international banking system, branding it a "criminal state" guilty of counterfeiting, money laundering and trafficking in weapons of mass destruction.
The Bush administration says that this sequence of events was a coincidence. Whatever the truth, I found on a recent trip to Pyongyang that North Korean leaders view the financial sanctions as the cutting edge of a calculated effort by dominant elements in the administration to undercut the Sept. 19 accord, squeeze the Kim Jong Il regime and eventually force its collapse.
During six hours of intensive give-and-take with Kim Gye Gwan, both in his office and in two one-on-one dinners with only an interpreter present, he said over and over to me, "How can you expect us to return to negotiations when it's clear your administration is paralyzed by divisions between those who hate us and those who want to negotiate seriously? At the very time when we were engaged in such a long dialogue last year, your side was planning for sanctions. Cheney did this to prevent further dialogue that would lead to peaceful coexistence. So many of your leaders, even the president, have talked about regime change. We have concluded that your administration is dysfunctional."