North Korea's nuclear test: Here we go again

If North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Il, hoped to panic southerners, or provoke America and others into rash and aggressive action, he will probably be disappointed. A Russian official on Monday gave warning against any “hysterical” reaction to the latest test by North Korea, but it seems likely that outsiders will not offer Mr Kim the devoted interest that he evidently craves. Full Story »

Posted by Derek Hawkins

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Review

Kaizar Campwala
3.8
by Kaizar Campwala - May. 26, 2009

Beside the external geo-political motivations, The Economist identifies North Korea's internal motivations for yesterday's testing, explaining in brief certain aspects of the political situation in the country.

What appears to be a more pressing concern for the regime is that Mr Kim needs to arrange for a successor. He was taken seriously ill last year, apparently having suffered a stroke, disappearing from public for several months. He is evidently still physically weak: television footage last month showed him to be gaunt and wan. Yet he may be seeking to assert his rule again, before handing power to a chosen successor, perhaps a son.

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