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Home > Media Reiews > News Review Last Updated: 14:53 03/09/2007
News Review #125: April 28, 2003

North Korea tells U.S. it has nuclear weapons

Reviewed by Hitoshi URABE

"North Korea tells U.S. it has nuclear weapons"
(by Star News Services) Kansas City Star

Related Article:
"South urges North to scrap nukes"
The Korea Herald


North Korea has admitted, or declared, that they own nuclear bombs, and that they are still on the way to exploit further possibilities along nuclear arms development. However, there has been no notable comment from Japan's senior officials, either from those with political or bureaucratic field.

It has been perhaps one of those "open secret no one should dare spell out" things within Japan's political arena, that North Korea owned nuclear bombs. There must have been some who were genuinely astonished, but they might be afraid to admit it as it would make them look like naive rookies, a fatal image in the world of politics.

This sounds like a wild assumption, but peculiar quietness in Japan's political and social scene after the news release could only be interpreted in this manner, where for most of the people, what surprised them was not that North Korea already has nuclear bombs, but the fact that they said it aloud. People are contemplating to find a safe way to respond without stepping on someone's toe, which could invite a hailstorm of accusations and condemnations.

The bilateral talks between South and North Koreas held Sunday, where it was supposed to be intended to discuss issues aimed at their unification sometime in the future, began this time in a tense atmosphere. It has been reported that South Korea at the outset of the meeting, deviating from the pre-set agenda, urged North Korea to abandon its nuclear weaponry and further development. North Korea is reported to have refused to discuss the subject at all, claiming that it is a "bilateral issue between North Korea and the US."

As referred to above, there has been no significant comment from any of political, or other, leaders in Japan. Many apparently do not want to get involved in the issue saying only such things as "the situation is not clear" or "it must be resolved in peace whatever it is."

It is a pity that there seems to be no one who would initiate a constructive discussion on how Japan, as a nation, should cope with North Korea, which does not behave in accordance with internationally recognized rules. Is it so because politicians, especially those who are supposed to lead such high level discussion, are already biases in their ideas, or attached to certain interest groups, which would forbid them from being involved in a free and productive discussion?

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