North Korea said it conducted an underground nuclear test on Monday, defying a warning from the U.N. Security Council and opening its crippled economy to the risk of fresh sanctions. South Korea put its troops on heightened alert after the announcement, which came just minutes before Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe landed in Seoul for a visit. The move could heighten regional tension and deal a fresh foreign policy blow to President Bush ahead of mid-term elections. The White House branded the act “provocative” and said it expected the U.N. Security Council to take immediate actions. Long Pyongyang’s chief ally, China denounced the “brazen” act, urging it to avoid action that could worsen the situation, and Russian President Vladimir Putin also condemned the test. 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 1.5 percent to two-month lows and its main stock index tumbled as much as 3.6 percent.
You can read also: Washington Post:
The White House did not immediately confirm the test, but spokesman Tony Snow said in a statement: “U.S. and South Korean intelligence detected a seismic event Sunday at a suspected nuclear test site in North Korea. A North Korean nuclear test would constitute a provocative act, in defiance of the will of the international community and of our calls to refrain from actions that would aggravate tensions in northeast Asia. We expect the Security Council to take immediate actions to respond to this unprovoked act.”
The U.S. Geological Survey registered a “seismic event” of magnitude 4.2 at 10:35 a.m. Monday local time (9:35 p.m. Sunday EDT) 240 miles northeast of Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, said Amy Vaughan, a geophysicist at the agency. She said the event occurred 45 miles north of the North Korean town of Kimchaek.
Russia’s defense minister said the reported test was equivalent to between 5,000 tons and 15,000 tons of TNT, the Associated Press reported. That would make the blast possibly as powerful as the atomic bomb dropped by the United States on Hiroshima in World War II, which was equivalent to 15,000 tons of TNT, the news agency said.
USA TODAY: North Korea says it conducted succesful underground nuclear test
NYT: NKorea reports 1st nuclear arms test.
Memeorandum: US Official N Korea tested nuclear weapon.
The Guardian: Blair condemns nuclear test.
Acordding to Spanish newspaper EL MUNDO, UN will act against NKorea.
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The truth is that North Korea is an irrelevant bit player in this whole drama. The real player here is China. They have helped North Korea at every step, and North Korea’s regime cannot survive at all without their ongoing food and fuel aid. Kim Jong-Il’s nuclear plans may be slightly inconvenient to the Chinese – just not not inconvenient enough to derail a strategy that still promises net plusses to those pursuing it within China’s dictatorship.
[…] In other words, make it clear to the Chinese via back-channel diplomacy that anything Taiwan chooses to do re: acquiring nuclear technology is no longer of any interest to the USA until Kim’s regime is gone – and that the Taiwanese are being briefed to that effect (the US had stopped a Taiwanese nuclear effort by threatening a cutoff of all military aid). Be clear also, and make public statements that “other states in the region” now have a viable reason to respond in kind. One could also drop hints about and then refuse to deny to the Chinese that back-channel discussions have begun with South Korea and Japan that involve America offering them a set number of working nuclear weapons from US stocks as a counterweight. They can also be told more directly via diplomatic channels that the USA will also support either or both countries if they choose to pursue their own programs, meanwhile floating diplomatic “trial balloons” re: a system that gives these countries their own deterrents as a better option, because it does not produce the capacity for further manufacture and so is “less destabilizing to the region.”
I agree. As I wrote here, the real goal is Taiwan and its independence.
I have found this [fake -or not? 😛 -] photo in Asia Pundit:
You scratch my back, Ill test some missiles
To sum up…
En español podeis leer: Ajopringue,
EXPANSIÓN: El Consejo de Seguridad se reúne de urgencia para debatir sobre las pruebas nucleares de Corea del Norte.
ABC.es: Corea del Norte confirma su desafío nuclear tras el “éxito” de su primera prueba.
Just read this piece of news: it is disgusting AND
Test raises tension on border | The World | The Australian:
THE North Korean refugee had one request for her captors before the young Chinese soldiers led her back across the steel-girdered bridge on the Yalu River that divides two “socialist allies”.
“She asked for a comb and some water because she said that if she was going to die she could not face going to heaven looking as dirty and dishevelled as this,” recounted a relative of one soldier who was there. What happened next is testimony to the rising disgust in Chinese military ranks as Beijing posts more troops to the border amid a crisis with North Korea over its regime’s plan to stage a nuclear test.
The soldiers, who later told family members of the incident, marched the woman, who was about 30, to the mid-point of the bridge. North Korean guards were waiting. They signed papers for receipt of the woman, who kept her dignity until that moment. Then, in front of the Chinese troops, one seized her and another speared her hand – the soft part between thumb and forefinger – with the point of a sharpened steel cable, which he twisted into a leash. “She screamed just like a pig when we kill it at home in the village,” the soldier later told his relative. “Then they dragged her away.”
Lo que tiene que quedar muy claro es que el jugador aquí NO es Corea del Norte si no China. China, como señala Winds of Change un poco más arriba, ha jugado un papel determinante auydando a los norcoreanos en el éxito de su programa nuclear. Y eso es nuestro  verdadero problema, porque China está interesada en Taiwan y de esta forma le abre un nuevo frente a USA en su defensa de la independencia de la isla, así como de Japón y Australia. De modo que al final lo que se está acelerando es la carrera armamentística nuclear.
La última noticia relata cómo mataron los soldados de Corea del Norte a una chica que se había saltado a la valla para ir a pedir comida y su “aliado” China, se la devolvió. “Chilló como cuando matamos a un cerdo en mi casa del pueblo“, le dijo un soldado chino a un familiar. Y este país tiene energía atómica…. 😦
 NOTA: NO es el problema de Zapatero, que es partidario de que China anexione Taiwan…
Related posts: NKorea will test a nuclear device.