Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Bomb That Shook the World; He's the World's Last Unreconstructed Communist Dictator Who Has Already Tortured and Starved Millions of His Own Subjects to Death. Today He Proved He Possesses a Nuclear Weapon-

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Bomb That Shook the World; He's the World's Last Unreconstructed Communist Dictator Who Has Already Tortured and Starved Millions of His Own Subjects to Death. Today He Proved He Possesses a Nuclear Weapon-

Article excerpt

Byline: PAUL WAUGH

NORTH KOREA sparked alarm around the world today after carrying out its first nuclear weapon test.

The explosion means that Communist dictator Kim Jong-il, described as a "lunatic" by American politicians, may already have an atomic bomb.

South Korea recorded a tremor measuring between 3.5 and 3.7 on the Richter scale caused by the underground blast.

World powers including America and China lined up to condemn the move. Japan said it was "unpardonable". Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett said she was horrified.

There were calls in the US to end all food aid to the poverty-stricken country in an attempt to force its people to topple Jong-il. The pintsized leader, who diplomats describe as a vain, paranoid, cognac-swigging hypochondriac, has been

compared to "Dr No" from the James Bond film and is a big fan of the Ian Fleming movies.

He has a library of 2,000 films and is so obsessed that he kidnapped a South Korean director to make movies for him.

Jong-il wears platform shoes to boost his 5ft 3in height and has a bouffant hairstyle - but his reputation is anything but comic The son of the late Kim Sung-il, he has ruled North Korea with a rod of iron as the country's economy collapsed and its people starved in their millions.

Countless North Koreans have been tortured and imprisoned under his brutal regime.

Along with Iraq, Iran and Libya, the country is a key player in what President Bush calls the "axis of evil".

The decision to test a nuclear weapon led to panic in financial markets in the Far East as the world feared a new arms race could follow in the region.

Japan and South Korea could now face pressure to follow suit and Iran may see the breakthrough as proof that the UN's nonproliferation treaty can be defied.

The White House reacted angrily and warned that it would want the UN to tighten sanctions.

Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher was more scathing and said the weapon test proved that America had been wrong to prop up the regime in the name of "stability".

"What we face is a maniac who is now coming into possession of what will be a nuclear weapon. …

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