Doomsday Clock

N. Korea Reports 1st Nuclear Arms Test. Here’s the coverage in the NYT. The decision to set off a nuclear device could profoundly change the politics of Asia.

“North Korea’s decision to conduct the test demonstrated what the world has suspected for years: the country has joined India, Pakistan and Israel as one of the world’s “undeclared” nuclear powers. India and Pakistan conducted tests in 1998; Israel has never acknowledged conducting a test or possessing a weapon. But by actually setting off a weapon, if that is proven, the North has chosen to end years of carefully crafted and diplomatically useful ambiguity about its abilities.”

“The test occurred only a week after Japan installed a new, more nationalistic prime minister, Shinzo Abe, and just as the country was renewing a debate about whether its ban on possessing nuclear weapons — deeply felt in a country that saw two of its cities incinerated in 1945 — still makes strategic sense.”

The Doomsday Clock has not moved since 2002 at which point it went from nine, to seven minutes to midnight. Is it time to move the hand again, or is the answer more funds for the missile defense program? Despite the somber news the weather seems sunny over Korea.


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