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    Louder than bombs

    Having seen it first from Japanese sources, I was kind of surprised at the wording of the English wire reports on the DPRK’s huffy departure from 6-way talks on its nuclear programs:

    The United States has assumed since the mid-1990s that North Korean is able to make nuclear weapons, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Thursday, playing down a dramatic announcement from Pyongyang.

    “Playing down”? “Dramatic”? I mean, sure, it’s newsworthy when high officials in a dictatorship have a fit of pique and storm out of a meeting, but these six-way talks have been rocky for months, and–maybe because its test missiles are fired directly over our heads–here in Japan, we’ve pretty much taken it as a given that North Korea has been developing nuclear weapons capability as quickly as it can. It’s hard to imagine who could have been caught off-guard by today’s announcement.

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