Report: North Korea on threshold

Oct. 11, 2006 at 9:52 AM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 11 (UPI) -- The nuclear defiance North Korea is showing the United States is likely to either fail miserably or create new rogue countries, a global think tank says.

The international Global Insight forecasting group said the secrecy surrounding North Korean leader Kim Jong Il's government makes it difficult to assess what prompted the country to claim it had test-fired a nuclear weapon underground on Monday.

However, some analysts said the defiance Pyongyang is showing Washington is a sign that existing sanctions are effective and are crippling an already weak economy, which could bring the regime to its knees.

Other analysts said if Kim shows resilience, "regional tensions will be exacerbated and a worrying precedent is set for other states tempted to develop their own nuclear weapons," the report said.

In both capitals, the report said "there is no apparent appetite for dialogue" as Kim digs in his heels and Washington steps up efforts to gain support from Russia and China to vote for U.N. global sanctions against North Korea.

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