When Outlaws Get The Bomb

Kim Jong Il's crude blast punctuates a scary reality: the law of the jungle now governs the race for nuclear arms

The tremor out of the far north of the People's Democratic Republic of Korea was unremarkable. It registered a magnitude 4.2, a light earthquake. Its significance had to be declared by its perpetrator, the unpredictable regime of Kim Jong Il. North Korea, one of the poorest and most hermetic nations on earth, was claiming a successful underground nuclear bomb test and entry into the once exclusive club of nuclear powers as member No. 9. "More fizzle than pop," said a U.S. intelligence source dismissively, though he conceded the blast was likely to have been nuclear. A sniffer plane would later pick...

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