‘North Korea, The Glaring Setback In Mr. Obama’s Asia Policy,’ Conducts Its Second Nuclear Test Of 2016

‘North Korea Defiantly Celebrated Its Fifth Nuclear Test’

“North Korea defiantly celebrated its fifth nuclear test Friday, claiming that it can now make warheads small enough to fit onto a missile and warning its ‘enemies’ — specifically the United States — that it has the ability to counter any attack. . . [T]he test appeared to mark another step toward North Korea’s goal of putting a nuclear warhead on a weapon capable of reaching the mainland United States.” (“North Korea Conducts Fifth Nuclear Test, Claims It Has Made Warheads With ‘Higher Strike Power,’” The Washington Post, 9/09/2016)

“‘There’s now obvious progress in North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs. They seem to be making precisely the technical progress that people don’t want,’ said Euan Graham, a security expert at the Lowy Institute in Sydney who once served as a British diplomat in Pyongyang.” (“North Korea Conducts Fifth Nuclear Test, Claims It Has Made Warheads With ‘Higher Strike Power,’” The Washington Post, 9/09/2016)

“North Korea is ready to conduct an additional nuclear test at any time, South Korea's Defense Ministry said on Monday, three days after the reclusive North's fifth test drew widespread condemnation. . . As tensions rose on the Korean peninsula in the week of last week's test, South Korea's President Park Geun-hye said that North Korea's nuclear weapons and missiles posed an ‘imminent threat.’” (“North Korea Ready For Another Nuclear Test Any Time: South Korea,” Reuters, 9/12/2016)

‘The Threat From Pyongyang Has Grown During Mr. Obama’s Presidency’

“The threat from Pyongyang has grown during Mr. Obama’s presidency, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has vowed to continue pouring the country’s limited resources into its nuclear weapons program. The White House doesn’t expect to make any significant progress on the issue before Mr. Obama leaves office.” (“On Final Asia Trip, Obama Faces Tests to U.S. Power,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/07/2016)

  • “Coming after a series of increasingly advanced missile tests . . . [the latest nuclear test] has ratcheted up the alarm that the regime may in fact be able to deliver a nuclear weapon, as it has repeatedly threatened. . . James Acton, a nuclear expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace [said] ‘If [North Korea] cannot yet threaten its neighbors, it will be able to soon. And it will eventually be able to strike the United States.’” (“Obama Under Fire After North Korean Nuke Test,” Politico, 9/09/2016)

“There is significant unfinished business in Mr. Obama’s Asia policy, including . . . an expanding North Korean nuclear weapons program that he and other world leaders have failed to halt.” (Editorial, “Obama Leaves Unfinished Business in Asia,” The New York Times, 9/07/2016)

“North Korea said on Sunday a push for further sanctions following its fifth and biggest nuclear test was ‘laughable’, and vowed to continue to strengthen its nuclear power.” (“North Korea Says Sanctions Push After Nuclear Test ‘Laughable,’” Reuters, 9/11/2016)

‘This Is Shaping Up To Be The Busiest Year Ever For North Korea's Nuclear And Missile Programs’

“Mark up another first for North Korea — two nuclear tests in one year. And that's not all. With leader Kim Jong Un smiling broadly all the while, bigger and better ballistic missiles have been flying off the North's shores, and now even from under its waters, at breakneck pace.” (“AP Analysis: N. Korea Seeks Leverage By Playing Nuke Card,” The Associated Press, 9/09/2016)

“This is shaping up to be the busiest year ever for North Korea's nuclear and missile programs. It rang in 2016 with what it said was its first H-bomb test and has been shooting off various kinds of long-range missiles — including one from a submarine — more frequently than normal.” (“AP Analysis: N. Korea Seeks Leverage By Playing Nuke Card,” The Associated Press, 9/09/2016)

  • “North Korea fired three ballistic missiles into the sea off its east coast . . . as the leaders of the Group of 20 major economies held a summit in China, the North's main diplomatic ally. . . The missile launches were the latest in a series by the isolated North this year in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions, supported by China, that ban all ballistic missile-related activities by the North.” (“North Korea Fires Three Ballistic Missiles As G20 Leaders Meet In China,” Reuters, 9/05/2016)
  • “North Korea appears to have reopened a plant to produce plutonium from spent fuel of a reactor central to its atomic weapons drive, the U.N. nuclear watchdog said on Monday, suggesting the country's arms effort is widening. Pyongyang vowed in 2013 to restart all nuclear facilities, including the main reactor at its Yongbyon site that had been shut down and has been at the heart of its weapons program.” (“North Korea Apparently Reopened Plant To Produce Plutonium: IAEA,” Reuters, 6/06/2016)


Related Issues: National Security, North Korea