Dan Gilmore / January 6, 2016

North Korea Blusters With Recent Nuke Test

It should be very puzzling for Bill Clinton.

As a supposed deterrent to the United States, North Korea tested a nuclear device Wednesday morning, a device it alleges was a hydrogen bomb. Earthquake monitors in that region of the globe picked up a 5.1-magnitude, artificial earthquake, but as to whether the device was an H-bomb — something with more destruction potential than the conventional atomic bomb and more difficult to make — some experts are skeptical of North Korea’s claims. During the previous tests, seismic activity ranged from 3.7 from the first test in 2006 to 4.9 in 2013. But North Korea claimed it only tested a small H-bomb.

Nevertheless, what North Korea calls its “H-bomb of justice” is a security threat concerning to the UN and the rest of the world powers. Even Russia, which spent all of 2015 thawing its relationship with the reclusive nation, said in a statement though a foreign ministry spokeswoman, “If in fact the test is confirmed, it would be a new step in the development of Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons, a flagrant violation of international law and the existing U.N. Security Council resolutions.”

This whole situation should be very, very puzzling for former President Bill Clinton. After all, he was the person who brokered a deal with North Korea that prevented the country from ever weaponizing its nuclear program. And U.S. monitoring would make sure everyone was kept honest. As security writer John Schindler tweeted, “Good time to remind that Iran is never farther away from having a nuke than a single IL-76 flight from Pyongyang. Which we might detect.” Why can’t we learn that brokering deals with countries that want nuclear weapons never assures nonproliferation?

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