Latest Issue

After the bomb

What does North Korea's nuclear test mean for the country's neighbours?

By Mark Fitzpatrick   October 2006

North Korea’s nuclear test alters the balance of power in northeast Asia. In every other field—economics, culture, diplomacy, biotechnology and IT, to name a few—the gap between the impoverished citizens of Kim Jong-Il’s regime and their world-class southern kinsmen could hardly be greater. The north’s ageing conventional military capabilities have also fallen far behind the south. But now North Korea boasts of possessing the ultimate equaliser. The suggestion that the explosion was merely a large quantity of TNT cannot be dismissed entirely without air sampling data, but it is implausible that North Korea would fake what was a technical failure…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect