North Korean TV confirmed that the seismic event recorded Friday morning had been a nuclear test. The Yonhap news agency cited a Pyongyang government announcement that the test proved it is capable of mounting standardized nuclear warheads on strategic ballistic missiles.
Back in 1994, after North Korea had announced its intent to withdraw from the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), the United States under President Bill Clinton and North Korea signed the Agreed Framework, under which Pyongyang committed to freezing its illicit plutonium weapons program in exchange for aid. In 2002, North Korea reneged on the agreement.
In August of 2003, the US under President GW Bush entered the six-party talk with China, Japan, Russia, South Korea, and North Korea, and in 2005 North Korea pledged to abandon “all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs” and return to the NPT.
In 2009, though, under President Barack Obama, North Korea launched a ballistic missile and has since refused to abide by any of the agreements.
That was the US track record on negotiating treaties with a rogue nuclear state when President Obama embarked on his nuclear negotiations with Iran. So far, Iran has already launched its ballistic missile, and it appears that secret clauses in its nuclear deal will make it particularly easy to renew plutonium enrichment in 5 to 9 years, depending on who interprets the agreement.David Israel