Tuesday, October 10, 2006

North Korea tests Nuclear Bomb

As you have probably all heard on the news "our friends oop north" have just admitted to testing a nuclear bomb. They seem quite pleased with themselves, it's certainly one way of getting your country in the news. It's just a shame they cannot make more money out of tourism from it.

Apparently it was only a 1 kiloton TNT equivalent, Hiroshima was 13 kilotons. [correction from this morning]

Life carries on here as normal, however the leader of the opposition party did ask his members not to play golf (unless it was absolutely necessary). The students, having more time on their hands to worry about this sort of thing, are already worrying about their future unborn children, but all the adult students in The Bat's class were more concerned with getting on with work as normal.

Not having TV means we miss some of the news but Robert at the Marmot's Hole has summarised the events so far.

There is a good posting from the blog of the metropolitican about gallows humour in this situation.

The newspapers this morning are all full of the news, as I'm sure papers around the world will be, because lets face it, it makes a good story. Summary: China, North Korea's one and only friend has called it a brazen act; The Japanese and South Korean Prime Ministers agree the test is non pardonable, but were unable to agree on anything else at all, nor even make a joint statement after meeting yesterday; The KOSPI (Korean Stock Exchange Index) fell 2.4 per cent yesterday; The Korean won fell in value by 1.6 per cent against the US dollar; Seoul has suspended a shipment of 4,000 tons of cement to North Korea; There is unlikely to be any environmental damage from the test here in South Korea.

I think now would be a good time to buy Korean stocks, because the markets fall every time there is North Korean news, but they bounce back after less than a week.

As Robert says, we now have to wait to see what the American response to this is. If they start to get aggressive then things could turn ugly, but short of invading North Korea a very foolish move indeed considering the size of the North Korean army, I cannot see what military action they can take. Blockade the ports? Well there is hardly any trade anyway and it will only make the country more unstable.

More news as it happens.

1 comment:

Andrew O'Hara said...

You remind me of why "Doctor Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb" has always been one of my favorites.

If stopping the 4,000 tons of cement doesn't do the trick, I'm not sure what we should do. I'm probably revealing a state secret by noting that all US troops are in Iraq (or tired of going to Iraq). Time to learn "duck and cover" again?