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Kim Lying Low After Nuke Announcement

Posted October. 09, 2006 07:08,   


North Korea, faced with pressure and persuasion by the international community since its announcement of a nuclear test on October 3, is keeping a low-profile attitude, showing no signs of additional announcements or noticeable movement.

Beginning on October 5, North Korean media didn’t further report news relating to its possible nuclear test since they repeatedly reported the North’s intention to carry out nuclear test until October 4.

North Korea didn’t respond even after the United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution warning the North against its plan to conduct nuclear testing on October 6 (local time), and that the U.S., its mortal enemy, released a message urging it to renounce its planned nuclear test.

However, Rodong Shinmun, a journal of the Labor Party, carried an article encouraging a military-first policy on October 6, saying, “Weak military force can’t keep the anti-imperialistic military frontier or sovereign rights and leads to submission to imperialists.”

North Korea hardly contacted members of the UN Security Council while the UN resolution against North’s nuclear test was adopted. Instead, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il seemed to be trying to solidify the North’s internal system, focusing on the “glorification of Kim Jong Il” mobilizing all the media yesterday to mark his ninth anniversary of election as General Secretary of the Labor Party of Korea.

Kim Young-soo, a professor of Political Science and International Relations at Sogang University, said, “North Korea seems to be watching for a U.S. reaction,” and added that internally, it would take a month for North Korean people to know about the planned nuclear test.

Yet externally, North Korea looked resolute.

A journal of the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan, Chosun Sinbo effectively confirmed the possibility of North’s nuclear test, reporting from Pyongyang on October 5, “North Korea’s statement of nuclear test was announced on the premise that it would do so and former leader Kim Il Song’s teachings are reflected in it.”

In addition, the Chosun Sinbo noted, “Conducting a nuclear weapons test is an inevitable outcome of the condition in which North Korea declared possessing nuclear arms in February last year, and if the George W. Bush administration contemplated other possibilities, it really got North Korea wrong,” and maintained that unless the U.S. changes its position, the plan will go ahead as planned.

North Korea’s stance is clearly revealed in Kim’s message to a meeting of heads of North Korea’s overseas diplomatic missions held in Pyongyang from July 18 to 22 that said, “We should solve difficult problems on our own as the whole world is our enemy.”

Kim didn’t attend the meeting but is said to have criticized China and Russia for supporting the adoption of resolution and Korea for freezing additional aid of fertilizer and food as “not reliable.”

Meanwhile, North Korean Central News Agency reported on October 5, “Leader Kim met with battalion commander of North Korean People’s Army and participants of political supervisory committee meeting.”

The date Kim met with military personnel was not made public in accordance with custom but, it could be October 3 when the Foreign Ministry announced the North’s intention to carry out nuclear test.