North Korea Tries To Escalate
It took the UN over a week to pen their strongly worded letter condemning North Korea's missile launch, and Pyongyang immediately responded:
North Korea announced it would quit six-nation nuclear disarmament talks and restart its atomic weapons programme in protest at the UN's condemnation of its rocket launch.
The communist nation said Security Council discussion of the launch, which the North insists sent a satellite into orbit, was "an unbearable insult" to its people.
Analysts described the Pyongyang statement as unusually strong, and China, the North's closest ally, called for all sides involved in the talks to show restraint.
"There is no need for the six-party talks any more," said a statement from Pyongyang's foreign ministry carried by the Korean Central News Agency.
"We will never again take part in such talks and will not be bound by any agreement reached at the talks."
Now, let's not lost our heads over this. This is definitely a strong statement, perhaps their strongest yet. But the North Koreans have simply shown no aptitude for nuclear weapons. All the tests have failed and all the missile launches have failed, at least in their stated goals. Also, Pyongyang has threatened to quit these talks on multiple occasions, only to return to the bargaining table. Finally, they have gone very far down the road of disabling their nuclear program - remember the destruction of the reactor? Putting everything back together will take time and money, and the latter is scarce in North Korea.
Pyongyang wants to become a first-order problem for the West, but they have not risen to that level.