Morning Brief, Monday, October 9
North Korea tests nukes Pyongyang announced that it successfully conducted a nuclear test this morning in the remote province of Hamgyeong. Geologists from South Korea, Russia, and the U.S. recorded earthquake-level tremors in the region. If confirmed, the test would be the first of such kind since 1998, when Pakistan detonated an underground nuke. Leaders ...
North Korea tests nukes
North Korea tests nukes
Pyongyang announced that it successfully conducted a nuclear test this morning in the remote province of Hamgyeong. Geologists from South Korea, Russia, and the U.S. recorded earthquake-level tremors in the region. If confirmed, the test would be the first of such kind since 1998, when Pakistan detonated an underground nuke.
Leaders from the U.S., Japan, China, South Korea, and Russia condemned the test, with President Bush calling it a "a provocative act" and a threat to international peace. The U.S. is pushing for sanctions against North Korea at a meeting at the U.N. this morning. Official sanctions, however, would merely be a formality, considering that North Korea is already shunned by most of the world. The only leverage against North Korea lies with Beijing, Pyongyang's strongest ally, which supplies North Korea with food and aid. But even China has stated "resolute opposition" against the test, calling it "brazen." It remains to be seen whether or not Beijing will use its influence with Pyongyang to foster a renewal of six-party talks.
Other Asia news
The U.N. Security Council has nominated South Korea's Ban Ki-Moon as its next secretary general. He will take office when Kofi Annan steps down at the end of the year. New Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe takes his first overseas visit to China, where he and Chinese president Hu Jintao expressed their commitment to improving relations between the historical rivals. Leaders of Thailand's recent coup name a new cabinet.
Hundreds of Iraqi policemen got sick after eating a communal meal during the holy month of Ramadan. Government officials are investigating whether it was a deliberate poisoning. Somali Islamists declare a "holy war" against Ethiopia. The youth wing of Denmark's anti-immigration party Danish People's Party were shown on TV drawing images of Muhammed. Denmark's prime minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, denounced the drawings as tasteless, but defended the independence of the media. OPEC may reduce oil production.
Zut alors! France has banned smoking in public areas beginning in February, with bars, restaurants, and hotels to follow 11 months later. The government promises to subsidize one-third of the cost of citizens' anti-smoking treatments, such as the patch.
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