June 1, 2009
North Korea’s second nuclear test on May 25, 2009 was not unexpected. After threatening to strengthen its nuclear deterrent by all means, on April 28 Pyongyang clearly signaled it would go all the way in its defiance of the international community following its controversial missile test-firing April 5 and its April 14 announcement that it would withdraw from the Six-Party Talks and restore its nuclear facilities. As a result, the second nuclear test, the next step in the Dear Leader’s frenzy, did not stun Beijing. What has stunned Beijing for the moment is the way North Korea conducted the nuclear test.