Hitting His Stride

When North Korea exploded its nuclear device at 10:36 a.m. on Oct. 9, Shinzo Abe's plane was en route from Beijing to Seoul for a summit with South Korean President Roh Moo Hyun. Upon landing, the new Japanese Prime Minister hurriedly gathered his staff at their Seoul hotel to devise Japan's response to the test. Some aides suggested canceling the summit and returning home to Tokyo immediately. Abe refused. "He was very clear that we weren't going to show that we were confused or anxious," says Hiroshige Seko, a special adviser to the Prime Minister who was with him in Seoul....

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