While not entirely surprising, news tonight that North Korea conducted a nuclear test in the northeastern part of the country is sobering. Not to put too fine a point on it, but all the nattering about YouTube and Google, Mike Arrington at ONA, and PayPerPost’s ethics feels entirely disposable, like so much Paris Hilton gossip.
Nevertheless, there are many losers here, including the Chinese, whose wasted diplomatic efforts are quickly coming back to haunt it, and the U.S., which watched in vain as North Korean built enrichment and test facilities. The entire region is almost certainly going to change, with Japan newly under immense pressure to reconsider its anti-nuclear stance, and South Korea may not be far behind. What this will do for already tense U.S.-Venezuela relations — the latter country has become a significant supporter of North Korea — can only be guessed at.
The biggest loser, of course, is North Korea itself. That this country, one of the poorest in the world (#194 on the CIA Factbook list), one sustained largely by foreign aid, spent so much time, effort, and money on nuclear weaponry, only to be faced now with almost certain deep economic sanctions, is tragic indeed.