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Alerted by “October Shock Rumor”

Posted September. 12, 2004 22:00,   


The Yanggang Province explosion caused greater confusion, combined with the possibility of North Korea conducting a nuclear weapons test ahead of the U.S. presidential elections, to create the so-called October Shock Rumor. From the indicated time of when the explosion took place, either Wednesday or Thursday, even though it is not October yet, the explosion occurred at a time that will affect the U.S. presidential elections.

Such a presumption is backed up with evidence from people who have recently visited N.K. via China, saying “There will be a big surprise in October,” stated a diplomatic source in New York on Sunday. Beside such evidence, U.S. officials are backing up their opinion with several other pieces of evidence.

That North Korea has recently rejected tourists coming from China and prohibited officials of international organizations from staying in North Korea for more than 15 days is more evidence. Also, the telephone has been out of service in some parts of the country, and there is news that the censorship of the media has been enforced. The suspicion that the North is planning something before October has grown due to internal changes that the North is going through right now.

The news agency also reported that some of these suspicions have turned out to be nothing, so one should not believe every word of the October Shock Rumor.

Park Jin a lawmaker of Grand National Party who visited the U.S. to attend the Republican Convention stated that he has confirmed the October Shock Rumor from a U.S. government official.

Park stated, “The official said the North has started using the nuclear-deterrence word again after analyzing some of the recent declarations made by the North Korean government. We are keeping an eye on North Korea possibly conducting a nuclear test in October.”

There is also analysis made on the October Shock Rumor indicating that the North will show off its nuclear capability to its people and the outside world or that it will send a message, around the time of the anniversary of the 1948 foundation of the communist regime (September 9) or the anniversary of establishment of the ruling party (October 10), weakening the possibility of continuing on with the six-way talks or using them as a card against the U.S. during the six-way talks.

Young-Sik Kim spear@donga.com