Ahh, hope n'change...it's just not working so well.
North Korea carried out a major nuclear test this morning at its Mount Mohyang test site, the site of North Korea's 2006 nuclear test.
Today's test showed a major progression in North Korea's nuclear capabilities. According to the seismic reports, the explosion created a 4.7 magnitude earthquake on the Richter scale, which means that energy yield is 10 to 20 kilotons, essentially equivalent to the Hiroshima and Nagasaki blasts.
North Korea also test-fired three short-range, ground-to-air missiles later Monday from the same site where it launched a rocket last month that flew over Japan.
President Obama was quick to assume full responsibility for the launch and acknowledged that US non-reaction to North Korea's prior missile launch was a factor in today's nuclear test.
Okay, I may have made that last sentence up.
Here's what the president actually said:
President Barack Obama, in a statement, called the action a "matter of grave concern to all nations" and said North Korea was undermining stability in northeast Asia. "It will not find international acceptance unless it abandons its pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery," he said.
Actually, I think the North Korean regime sees nukes as a definite path to international acceptance, at least in terms of getting what they want. It's gotten them pretty far up to now, and seeing who's in the White House, there's no reason for them to fear any significant consequences in continuing along the same path.
They've blatantly lied and played the West and especially the US for fools for quite some time now, and it's worked pretty well. And as their expertise and skill in creating nuclear weapons increases, they'll find even more ready customers to buy what they have to sell then they have already, and most of them are not going to be people we're comfortable with having nukes in their hands.
The chief irony in all this is that the current occupant of the White House has made so many pious noises about the dangers of nuclear proliferation,yet he ignores the very real danger posed by the emerging nuclear capabilities of Iran and North Korea. As a matter of fact, his chief efforts along this line have been in cutting funds for US missile defense to the bone against the advice of his own secretary of defense.
Almost on cue, Iran's Ahmadinejad decided to take a slap at Obama's uncleched fist and let him and the West know that he rejected the latest Western proposal to "freeze" its nuclear weapons development in exchange for no further sanctions. He also ruled out any talks on Iran's nuclear program with the US or the other major powers, saying that as far as he was concerned it was a dead issue:
Ahmadinejad proposed a debate with Obama at the United Nations in New York "regarding the roots of world problems" but he made clear Tehran would not bow to pressure on the nuclear issue.
"Our talks (with major powers) will only be in the framework of cooperation for managing global issues and nothing else. We have clearly announced this," Ahmadinejad said.
"The nuclear issue is a finished issue for us," he told a news conference. "From now on we will continue our path in the framework of the (U.N. nuclear watchdog) agency."
Ahmadinejad, of course is speaking for the Ayatollah Khamanei, who will continue to call the shots in Iran no matter who wins Iran's June 'election'.
I can't help but wonder if Kim Jong-Il and Ahmadinejad deliberately set this up between them,just for giggles.
In reality, aside from horsetrading nuclear and missile technology, Iran and North Korea have learned from each other's experience. The US, especially with Obama in the White House is unlikely to do anything meaningful to stop them from obtaining nuclear weapons, and will simply keep meaniongless diplo-speak initiatives churning until it's simply too late to do anything. Obama's meaningless statements about revisiting Iran's nuclear weapons program in six months or so after talking with Israel's Benyamin Netanyahu and hearing his concerns about an existential threat to an ally are a prime example.
When serious consequences arise from this, I have no doubt that the president will make suitable remarks in his signature baritone, while swinging his head back and forth like a metronome to scan his stereo teleprompters.