Russian general confirms North Korea tested nuclear weapon MOSCOW -- A top Russian military officer confirmed Monday that the device tested by North Korea was a nuclear weapon, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported.
Russian military monitoring systems "detected the test of a nuclear weapon in North Korea," the ITAR-Tass news agency quoted Lt. Gen. Vladimir Verkhovtsev as saying.
"It is 100 percent (certain) that it was an underground nuclear explosion," the agency quoted Verkhovtsev, the head of a Defense Ministry department, as saying.
Russia had urged Pyongyang not to conduct a nuclear test. Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov last week voiced concern about the environmental consequences for Russia, which borders North Korea and has large cities in the region, while the Foreign Ministry warned that a nuclear test would add to regional tensions and undermine the international nuclear nonproliferation regime.
Russia has sought to restore Soviet-era ties with Pyongyang in recent years -- President Vladimir Putin has visited North Korea, and the North's reclusive leader Kim Jong Il has twice been to Russia -- but its diplomacy has had little visible effect on North Korea's actions.
There was no immediate reaction from the Russian government, but lawmaker Konstantin Kosachyov, chief of the international affairs committee in the parliament's lower house, called the test "the most undesirable result" for the future of six-nation talks aimed at halting North Korea's nuclear weapons program, ITAR-Tass reported. Russia is a participant in the talks, stalled since last year.
"Obviously, all efforts of the world community on the issue of the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons have proved ineffective," the agency quoted Lt. Gen. Vasily Klyuchenok, deputy head of the defense and security committee in the upper chamber, as saying.
His remarks echoed widespread Russian complaints that U.S. tactics in the nuclear disputes with North Korea and particularly with Iran are too aggressive.
World powers "should avoid direct threats" in efforts to prevent more nations from developing nuclear weapons, Klyuchenok was quoted as saying, adding that tactics "should change in the direction of greater patience, broader diplomatic relations, and not be reduced to economic or political sanctions."
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said last week that direct U.S.-North Korean contacts are needed to resolve the financial disputes Pyongyang has cited as its reason for boycotting the six-nation talks.
No increase in radiation levels was detected in Russia's Primorye territory, which borders North Korea, Interfax quoted regional meteorological service spokesman Sergei Slobodchikov as saying.
Vladivostok, a large port city on Russia's Pacific Coast, is about 100 kilometers from the short border with North Korea. (AP)
Posts: 2196 | From: Newburg, Ar,Lizard | Registered: Apr 2001
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"It is 100 percent (certain) that it was an underground nuclear explosion,"
That's right, but it didn't work very well. Almost certainly a fizzle.
-------------------- "I swear to defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies domestic or foreign WHOMSOEVER." Posts: 2244 | From: California USA | Registered: Mar 2001
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