N.Korea should stop flexing nuke muscles

ABU DHABI, 10th September 2016 (WAM) - North Korea, which has mastered the art of provocation, has ignited global outrage once again, a United Arab Emirates newspaper has commented.

On Friday, Pyongyang declared it successfully tested a miniature nuclear warhead that could be mounted on a missile.

"This has naturally led to serious international concerns about how close it is to having a credible weapon," the paper said.

According to South Korea’s meteorological agency, with a force of 10 kilotonnes, or the equivalent of 10,000 tonnes of TNT, the blast was smaller than the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima in August 1945.

That bomb had a force of around 15 kilo-tonnes and killed 140,000 people, half of whom died immediately.

A November 2011 study funded by the US government determined that the Severe Damage Zone from a 10-kilotonne warhead over Washington would measure almost 1.6 kilometres in diameter.

A Reuters report had earlier cited a South Korean government analysis that put North Korea’s nuclear spending at $1.1 billion to $3.2 billion.

"For a country where a majority of people reels under utter poverty, the perplexing question remains why North Korea loves the killer atomic bomb so much," the paper noted.

Its officials say North Korea conducted the nuclear test to mark the country’s 68th National Day on Sept.9.

This marks the fifth nuclear detonation following the first in October 2006, the second in May 2009, the third in February 2013 and the fourth in January this year.

North Korea has already been hit by five sets of UN sanctions since it first tested a nuclear device in 2006, but has insisted it will continue, come what may.

US President Barack Obama has vowed to push for new international sanctions condemning the test as a grave threat to regional security and international peace and stability.

China, too, slammed it saying the country was firmly opposed to the test. Seoul estimates the detonation as North’s biggest-ever in explosive yield and considers it as a sign that leader Kim Jong Un "is spiraling out of control."

But all the punishments meted out to the confrontational state have not helped tame it so far.

There can be no compromise when it comes to the need to maintain peace in the Korean Peninsula.

The paper concluded by saying: "A diplomatic and political solution to the situation is the best option. However, for that to happen, Pyongyang should refrain from provocative actions. Instead, it should focus on improving the lot of its people, millions of whom are reeling under abject poverty and face major economic and social challenges."


WAM/bashir