Would North Korea be public about its nuclear test if Mitt Romney had been president today?
This seems a fair question.
Another question: would they be conducting a nuclear test at all? This one is probably yes, given that the North Koreans may have no idea how easily the United States, and other countries, can detect nuclear tests around the world. The North Koreans used an underground bomb in a probable effort to minimize detection, radioactivity, and fallout. Even so, earthquake detectors in Japan, South Korea, and other countries identified the moment of detonation and placed it within a mile or two of its location.
North Korea is well aware that today is the President’s first State of the Union speech—making them better aware than most Americans, probably. The test is a certain middle finger, and coincides neatly with Iran’s testing of a rocket delivery system for just such a warhead.
There is no question that North Korea and Iran view Barack Obama as impotent. Indeed, they are probably betting correctly here; and there is little doubt in the Czar’s mind that Mitt Romney would also do little besides use underlined words about unhappiness in a press release, just as the President did today.
But in the same manner that Iran so feared Ronald Reagan that they released hostages on Inauguration Day 1981, even though he probably would have loitered quite a while on what options were there, so too might North Korea have kept a little quieter about their advancements in nuclear technology.
Because North Korea might have had another reason for testing their weapon underground: remember that North Koreans are convinced America has space weapons and could easily have eliminated their test site from space…or something. They hid their test as long as they could, in hopes that we wouldn’t strike it pre-emptively from out of the blue.
Yet despite those measures, they were clear to the world they were going to do this, and this is a specific taunt to Barack Obama.
North Koreans are crazy like that. And they are getting crazier each day.