North Korea Defiantly Detonates Nuclear Weapon

Despite repeated warnings of more sanctions, North Korea tested a third nuclear bomb. What does this mean for Iran and others who want nuclear weapons?

What many first thought to be a small earthquake on Tuesday turned out to be an underground nuclear explosion in North Korea.

Authorities in Pyongyang said scientists had set off a nuclear device more powerful than the two previous tests in 2006 and 2009.

North Korea’s official news agency said the test had been in response to the United States’ tighter sanctions after Pyongyang’s successful rocket launch almost two months ago (The Guardian).

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called the test “deplorable,” stating that it was a “clear and grave violation of the relevant resolutions of the Security Council.”

North Korea’s young leader, Kim Jong Eun, who has been in power just over a year, appears undeterred.

Causing friction with closest ally

The latest nuclear test drew sharp criticism even from North Korea’s closest ally—China. “The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, heedless of widespread international opposition, has again carried out a nuclear test, to which the Chinese government expresses its firm opposition,” the Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement (The Guardian).

“It is China’s firm stance to realize non-nuclearisation for the Korean peninsula and prevent nuclear proliferation and maintain peace and stability in northeast Asia,” the statement said.

Nuclear proliferation?

Daniel Pinkston of the International Crisis Group in Seoul believes that sanctions are not going to deter Kim Jong Eun. He said, “The [North Koreans] view the world as hostile and menacing. … But from their point of view it reaffirms why they need [a nuclear programme]. When the world is like this, do you not want to be a nuclear power?” (The Guardian).

Countries like North Korea even use sanctions to further their efforts. They develop their nuclear capabilities until sanctions are increased. Then they promise not to continue so they can receive international aid again. But then they continue their nuclear program until sanctions are increased again. And the cycle continues until they are a nuclear threat—and have even more leverage.

Dr. Leonid Petrov, a North Korea expert at the Australian National University, said, “Obviously the [North Koreans] are not going to bargain and are not going to give up the nuclear options. We have passed already the point of no return: North Korea is de facto a nuclear state, all we can do is minimise the damage.”

What Kim Jong Eun has done will surely encourage Iran to further its nuclear program.

Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak reportedly said over a year ago that North Korea is like an icebreaker that clears the way for Iran’s nuclear ship.

But it’s not just Iran. North Korea is believed to have sold its nuclear knowledge to Bashar al-Assad in Syria. A nuclear reactor built for him was destroyed by Israel in 2007.

So what happens when nuclear weapons fall into terrorists hands? How much human carnage will be scattered across this planet then? As Leonid Petrov said, “The world is now a much more dangerous place. It’s very sad.”

Unless these days are shortened

Nearly 2,000 years ago Jesus Christ foretold what the world would be like before His return. He said, “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars” (Matthew 24:6). The real fears of nuclear proliferation today are definitely “rumors of wars.” It’s not if nuclear weapons will end up in the hands of dangerous individuals, but when they will be used.

Christ continued, “Unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved [alive]” (verse 22).

There are enough nuclear weapons today to destroy all human life on earth many times over. Perhaps the only reason humanity hasn’t come to the point of full-scale nuclear warfare already is because God has prevented it.

Will a nuclear holocaust happen?

But the time is coming—perhaps in the very near future—when God will allow a period of great distress, sometimes called the time of Jacob’s trouble, to come upon the earth. During this time, hundreds of millions of people will die as a result of war, which will very likely include the use of nuclear weapons

The battles will continue to escalate, including one with a 200 million-man army that will kill a third of mankind (Revelation 9:15-16). After gathering at Armageddon, the armies will finally approach Jerusalem. And it is at this point that mankind would finally annihilate all life completely. But just before that happens, Jesus Christ will intervene and save man from himself.

But we can seek God’s protection from these coming events (Luke 21:36). We need to humble ourselves and not be defiant to God’s 10 Commandments. It is through Him that we can have peace and not be fearful about the future. It’s time to be sure your relationship with God is secure in this increasingly insecure world.

Learn more about the return of Jesus Christ in the article “End of the World: Why It’s Good News!”

About the Author

Tim Groves

Tim Groves

Tim Groves attends the Jefferson, Georgia, congregation of the Church of God, a Worldwide Association, where he serves as a deacon. 

He has been married to his wife, Teresa, for over 30 years. Together, they have two daughters and two sons and live in South Carolina. They moved there from Ohio in 1997 to flee the cold northern winters and allow him to do the things he really enjoys, like roaming though automobile junkyards looking for hidden treasures from times long past.

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