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DPRK willing to withstand greater pressure

  • January 7, 2016
  • , Asahi
  • JMH Summary

Most papers speculated that the Kim regime apparently went ahead with the nuclear test without giving prior notice to China, underscoring that the hermit state is prepared to withstand pressure from not just the U.S., Japan, and South Korea but its traditional supporter in the neighborhood probably in order to entice the Obama administration into making concessions. The papers also conjectured that DPRK strongman Kim Jong Un chose to play up his military achievement to reinforce his grip on the DPRK Army ahead of his birthday on January 8 and a planned national convention of the DPRK Workers’ Party in May since no tangible progress has been made on his first policy priority of “improving people’s lives.”


The dailies said the international community was caught by surprise by the nuclear test since no country, including the U.S., was apparently able to obtain intelligence pointing to an imminent nuclear test, such as the closure of an underground tunnel. Asahi said North Korea’s thorough efforts to conceal the nuclear test ahead of the blast suggested that the country did not intend to use the experiment as a diplomatic tool to obtain concessions from the U.S. and others but purely as a military means to ensure national security.

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