Today's Question: Is North Korea an imminent threat?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009 | 11:07 a.m. CDT; updated 2:18 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, June 2, 2009

On May 25, North Korea reported carrying out its second nuclear test. President Barack Obama condemned the test, and the U.N. Security Council said in a statement that the North is a rogue, hostile nation.

According to the North’s official news agency, KCNA, the test was conducted underground and showed elevated atomic abilities compared with its first test in October 2006. As reported by CNN, the U.S. Geological Survey reported a magnitude 4.7 seismic disturbance thought to have been caused by a 10 kiloton to 20 kiloton explosion. Although more data still needs to be gathered on the power of the explosion, most experts agree that the numbers reported are probably inflated.

North Korea has a long history of defying U.S. sanctions, and many leaders view nuclear testing as an act of defiance and intimidation. Although no action has yet been taken, Obama released a statement saying, “The danger posed by North Korea’s threatening activities warrants action by the international community,” the BBC reported.

As reported by KCNA, a statement released by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea "referred to the fact that the DPRK has the right to test nuclear weapons and missiles and other weapons selected by it in order to defend its sovereignty and territory as is the case with all other sovereign states." KCNA also reported that the DPRK regarded the "Western media's smear campaign against the DPRK as an act of aggression because it is nothing but a product of the U.S. plot. "

As the U.N. Security Council grapples with proper action, politicians worry that North Korea's confrontational attitude leaves little room for negotiation.

Is North Korea an imminent threat?

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Ray Shapiro June 2, 2009 | 6:23 p.m.

North Korea an 'imminent threat'
Friday, March 18, 2005

North Korea
International Atomic Energy Agency

LONDON, England (CNN) -- North Korea poses more of a nuclear threat than Iran, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency told CNN, because the country already has the nuclear material that would go into a weapon.

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