Another small country heard from...
Little can be said with certainty about the global impact, other than one thing: the world now knows that North Korea has a functioning nuclear weapon. Whether the international community is less safe will depend on its actions over the next weeks and months.
The following is the full text of the announcement carried on North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency as reported on the Reuters news agency:
The field of scientific research in the Democratic Peoples' Republic of Korea [North Korea] successfully conducted an underground nuclear test under secure conditions on October 9, Juche 95  at a stirring time when all the people of the country are making a great leap forward in the building of a great, prosperous, powerful socialist nation.Reactions from the international community have been swift and unsurprisingly negative. President Bush, who is otherwise distracted by domestic scandals and the Iraqi debacle, announced,
It has been confirmed that there was no such danger as radioactive emission in the course of the nuclear test as it was carried out under a scientific consideration and careful calculation.
The nuclear test was conducted with indigenous wisdom and technology 100%. It marks a historic event as it greatly encouraged and pleased the KPA [Korean People's Army] and people that have wished to have powerful self-reliant defence capability.
It will contribute to defending the peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and in the area around it.
Today's claim by North Korea serves only to raise tensions while depriving the North Korean people of the increased prosperity and better relations with the world offered by the implementation of the joint statement of the six-party talks. The oppressed and impoverished people of North Korea deserve that brighter future.Roh Moo-Hyun, President of South Korea, North Korea's closest neighbor, agrees. Even China, North Korea's closest ally, is pissed. Condemning the test as a brazen act, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang declared,
[North Korea] has ignored the widespread opposition of the international community and conducted a nuclear test brazenly on 9 October... The Chinese government is firmly opposed to this... The Chinese side strongly demands the North Korean side abide by its pledges on denuclearisation and to stop any action that would worsen the situation.Japan's new Prime Minister, Shinzō Abe, fearing his country is the primary target of the North Korean bomb, warned, Since its inception in 1947, The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has followed the threat posed by nuclear weapons and other developments in global security. Its famous Doomsday Clock has been moved 18 times to reflect the danger of the period. It currently stands at 7 minutes to midnight. It could well move even closer to midnight with North Korea's successful nuclear test.