On the day that President Barack Obama planned to use his State of the Union address to get “aggressive” against Republicans in Congress, the North Koreans have upstaged him with a nuclear bomb test. This test, the hermit communist kingdom’s third, was conducted underground and at first appeared similar to an earthquake.
The reclusive North said the test was an act of self-defense against “U.S. hostility” and threatened further, stronger steps if necessary.
It said the test had “greater explosive force” than the 2006 and 2009 tests. Its KCNA news agency said it had used a “miniaturized” and lighter nuclear device, indicating that it had again used plutonium which is more suitable for use as a missile warhead.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, the third of his line to rule the country, has presided over two long-range rocket launches and a nuclear test during his first year in power, pursuing policies that have propelled his impoverished and malnourished country closer to becoming a nuclear weapons power.
If North Korea is miniaturizing its nuclear weapons, then it is a nuclear power.
China summoned North Korea’s ambassador to protest and condemn the test, but the fact is, China has facilitated North Korea’s rogue behavior and bellicosity for decades.
Japan, South Korea, Russia and NATO have all joined in the condemnation.
The question is, what does Barack Obama do?
He had leaked his plan to go politically nuclear on the Republicans in the State of the Union address tonight. SOTU addresses tend to be laundry lists of programs that a president wants enacted. Obama has already driven US debt to unsustainable levels of about a trillion dollars in deficit spending per year. Any new program he wants will simply add to that. He has signaled that he intends to add to the national debt with more “investments” while casting Republicans as stubbornly opposing every single thing he wants to do, for our own good.
A president’s primary job according to the Constitution is the safety and security of the nation. North Korea is going nuclear and improving its missile technology while making its customary threats to destroy us — the latest such threat coming in a YouTube video. It’s a certainty that North Korea timed this test to coincide with the SOTU. Will Obama now re-write his address to try to unify Americans around a growing threat, or will he play his usual partisan games to continue his effort to destroy all opposition here at home?