Early this morning, North Korea successfully tested a miniaturized nuclear weapon underground. It is concerning to the United States because it brings North Korea closer to being able to put a nuclear weapon in a missile.
Sometimes—like when they call themselves "space conquerors" after launching a satellite that broke almost immediately and tumbled out of orbit—it can be hard to take North Korea seriously. Other times—like when they threaten another test of their nuclear program at a highly delicate time for their neighbors, politically—it seems wiser to keep a close eye on them.
North Korea found itself front and center in the international community when it launched a long-range missile Friday morning, local time.
Despite the country’s reported efforts, officials in the US claim the launch failed because the rocket broke before leaving the Earth’s atmosphere.
The passing of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il raises new questions about the U.S. connection to the country. Jong Il's death could do nothing to change the two sides' strained relationship, or it could change everything. Whatever does happen...