North Korea's surprise nuclear test this morning drew protests in the South and threats from world governments to punish the regime with further sanctions. Barack Obama and Gordon Brown both condemned the blasts, and France said it would discuss "strengthening sanctions" at today's emergency Security Council meeting. Even China, the key to any further action, said it was "resolutely opposed" to the test.
Japan's UN ambassador requested the extraordinary meeting, which will take place this afternoon, and an official said that "we, as the only atomic-bombed nation, need to take stern action." But China and Russia, both veto-wielding council members, may complicate efforts to punish the regime. "China's goal is to ensure that the six-party talks process does not fall apart," said one Chinese scholar. "Stricter sanctions are not going to achieve that objective."