North Korea Testing Us?
On Monday, President Obama declared that the U.S. will respond strongly to North Korea's underground test of a nuclear weapon last Sunday. The test, carried out in the mountains near China, was verified by seismic readings. This is the second underground test conducted by North Korea and President Obama is determined to organize a unified international condemnation of this action. On Monday evening he spoke to the leaders of South Korea and Japan. Russia and China have already denounced the test.
Undeterred by the negative response, yesterday North Korea fired two short range missiles into waters off its coast. According to its state-run news agency, "Our army and people are fully ready for battle . . . against any reckless U.S. attempt for a pre-emptive attack." This could be a critical trial for the new administration, as Iran and other potential nuclear states watch for the U.S. response.
How will President Obama handle this challenge? Can North Korea's nuclear weapons program be curtailed through international pressure?