North Korea Confirms It Conducted 3rd Nuclear Test

While reading different articles the imagination hints that it seems sometimes the news agencies do not describe or cover facts happening but create them. Every event in the world has different sides. The same case can make different impressions. Moreover, with the help of proper focusing on the specific aspects of an issue it is possible to create various news considering the importance and weight of them. Main actors, the significance of opposite sides of any event and the balance of various approaches to the specific problem as well as possible consequences are shown differently by authors. If to take into consideration this fact, then the 3rd nuclear test was conducted by North Korea on 12 February 2013. As a result, different publications can cause opposite conclusions for readers to analyze and, consequently, create different political atmosphere. The further historical evaluation of this event and its role can be predicted sometimes by the contemporary news. 

For an analysis of the third nuclear test in North Korea to be done five publications have been chosen. The first one is “Seoul Accumulates Knowledge of Nuclear Technology” was published in the magazine Dong-A Ilbo on 14 February 2013. The second article was posted in the British newspaper The Economist on 16 February 2013 under the title “North Korea’s Nuclear Test”: Fallout. One more article was published under the title N. Korean Nuke Test Increases Threat Level in the Japanese magazine Asahi Shim Bun on 14 February 2013. There are two articles called “Learn to Live with a Nuclear North Korea” published in Washington Post that can be considered as the representation of some US citizens’ opinion and “Lack of Data Shrouds Nature of N. Korea Nuclear Test” for AFP which are considered to be the reflection of the event for the European audience.

The first article is concerned about Seoul possibilities to develop its own nuclear technology as an answer to a nuclear threat of North Korea. In this article, the author states that South Korea uses the nuclear power only for peaceful purposes and that the development of the nuclear weapon is difficult but possible to process. Also, he states an evidential fact that North Korea has some centrifuges for the uranium enrichment. The article stresses the threat has aroused from the peaceful character of the South Korean nuclear technologies with the hope to develop the ways to obtain the sufficient quantity of plutonium for the creation of nuclear weapon.

As for the article published in The Economist, we can see a more detailed explanation of what has happened. There is also the uncertainty in the question which was the nuclear material used by North Korea concerning the existence of uranium ore deposits in North Korea. The process of the uranium enrichment is actually easier than the plutonium one. Also, this article provides a description of the international reaction being surely negative, especially if to talk about the USA. Nevertheless, it is clear that there are some difficulties for the USA goals of denuclearization of Northern Korea. Those six-party talks initiated by China can cause no effect except than acknowledging that North Korea is the nuclear power. Japan and South Korea apprehend some new possibilities of North Korea. However, China, despite some annoyance towards the nuclear test, does not want to restrain its ally. It means that the prevention of the further nuclear test is difficult as well as strengthening the coordination between the US allies, i.e. Japan and South Korea, rankling China. The possibility of the reinterpretation for the Japanese constitution (the new Japanese Prime Minister’s initiative) in the matter of accepting war and taking part in the collective self-defense can cause the irritation concerning South Korea and China.

The article in Asahi Shim Bun represents the opinion of Narushige Michishita (a political expert). The Professor expresses some concerns over the situation due to the possible nuclear strike against South Korea and Japan. The fact is emphasized with the facts that there are no threats for the United States. Actually, a new North Korean leader most probably will not decide to use the nuclear weapon. Nevertheless, taking into account that there are no peaceful agreements between North and South Korea, some troubles can appear in future. The expert suggests that Pyongyang has aspired to dialogue with Washington and establish a new peace mechanism (as it may be supposed with the most profits derived for it).

The sense of the article in Washington Post is expressed in brief in its title. The author noticed that the reaction of the USA and the UNO was predictable; however, it would be unsuccessful like all the efforts in preceding years. According to the situation and agreements, the nuclear program of Northern Korea developed with the difference speed. However, all the US efforts to stop it had only the temporary success. The author stressed the danger of the North Korean isolation because it was possible that North Korea was going to sell new technologies and even provided the weapon to everybody. As a possible way to avoid this, the author offered to recognize that Pyongyang had the nuclear weapon to establish the constructive relationships (considering the fact that China would support North Korea for further and that there could be no direct threat to America). The weapon race, in author’s opinion, is a realistic way to counteract and restrain Pyongyang.

The article of the AFP connected with the difficulties of recognizing the material was used for the test. Despite all the efforts to find the nuclear traces, South Korean detectors did not achieve any success. Also, the article shows us the position and readiness for the counteraction of South Korea while demonstrating its new missiles as well as the US guarantees for Seoul in case of the atomic attack.

Comparing these articles, the following facts can be seen. First of all, considering the first article, it should be said that the article tells about the problem through discussing the possibility of South Korea to create its own nuclear power. Such a position, strongly influenced by the national interests, seems to be like in North Korea. Pyongyang claims that the test has been conducted as the answer to the constant hostility of the USA demonstrating a biased opinion. The South Korean media demonstrates the same prejudice speaking surely about the presence of centrifuges for the enrichment of uranium in North Korea. The event itself serves as a pretext to announce the necessity to develop its own weapon. Such treatment can strongly distort the reality in order to please the subjective point of view.

The article published in The Economist can serve as a model of the full coverage of events, especially with regard of its possible role in future and its consequences. The article interprets the facts objectively depicting the international relationships with all inherent contradictories. Comparing this article with the previous one, it can be noticed that the manner of wording due to its objectivity is rather detached. It is difficult to say whether the national interest has influenced on the article taking into account the distance between the United Kingdom and the Korean peninsula as well as the peculiarities of the audience. Also, the way of material presentation tries to avoid any distortion, alternatively in the first article emphasizing the only side of this fact, i.e. the presence of nuclear weapon in North Korea with the purpose to drive readers to a necessary conclusion. Surely, The Economist has emphasized the other side of the problem, i.e. the international relations, omitting the details about an exact type of nuclear material. However, such approach has provided the possibility to make larger and more objective the light at the event and its consequences.

The article in Asahi Shim Bun has represented the qualitative judgment the same as the article in the Washington Post. Such approach of lighting the events differs from the approach written in The Economist. However, it can be easily understood. The audience of the British analytical newspaper has the interests in the description of a global level of any event. Consequently, for this purpose, a detailed analysis should be used. This topic is interesting but not as hot as for the actors involved in this event. Such incidence is an indirect challenge to Great Britain. Nevertheless, it is a real challenge for the USA, Japan and South Korea and even a direct war threat for the last actor. The Economist tries to describe some contradictions of the issue; and, therefore, the challenge can be defined as a relevant reaction to the consequences of the situation. In other words, it determines “what to do further”. At the same time, three allies listed above, should answer to the question what to do “right now”, especially when Obama was starting his second term. Also, China has survived the leadership rotation not long ago. Logically, the most military rhetoric can be seen in the South Korean publication. As for the other two actors, their involvement and the level of menace for each of them is reflected indirectly in the titles. It should be noticed that both of two articles include the similar statement that a new Korean leader is brutal but not crazy. Also, both articles have agreed that there is no real threat for the USA.

Nevertheless, the ethnocentric point of view has influenced the author. If the Japanese author emphasized the possibilities of different war problems on the Korean peninsula this would be caused by Pyongyang to drive the USA to dialogue. In the Japanese author’s opinion, the level of risks is high, and North Korea can use the nuclear weapon in case of destabilization of the regime. It believes the superiority of the USA and South Korea is a positive factor. At the same time, the American author does not estimate the level of war threat (and even avoids mentioning it as a considerable factor). He emphasizes the fatuity of all previous efforts to stop Pyongyang. According to the global interests of the USA to avoid the further distribution of nuclear technologies, the author has suggested a reason to let the allies’ possibility expand their own military power. So these two examples show us the influence of national interests on the point of view expressed in the publication. While one author emphasizes a risk factor and relies on the allies, the other author estimates the other risk factors and considers that everyone should rely on itself only. On the other hand, these cases can depict some possible distortions. Both authors in their risk evaluations are opposite in their approaches in The Economist. They do not estimate the role of China while supporting the North Korean regime. That one of Pyongyang can have much more resolve to use the weapon in case of need.

The last one publication (for the AFP) concentrates mainly on the technicality and incapacity of Seoul to find any nuclear traces. This approach has a fair amount of sense. As emphasized in the title, we do not know exactly the nature of explosion. The strength value is not enough to be estimated what has been exploded, and, therefore, which technology North Korea has. Without this, the evaluation of the risk level is difficult to perform. Also, the possibility of South Korea to give an adequate answer is being stressed. So, the article asks a rational and reasonable question about what has happened exactly. Maybe, such underlying idea can distract readers but this leaves a field for the critical thinking. If Pyongyang can enrich uranium, it can be a serious threat. This issue needs the serious efforts to find the ways outs. If not, the ambitious statements of North Korea can be a bit hyperbolic, and the issue needs some other more quiet and painless measures.

As we can see from the analysis of the articles mentioned above, one event can be lightened differently emphasizing different aspects. Thus, it can be stated that one event can create different news. As a result, a little bit of information present in the news reflects the fact that has happened, some fixed values or other things really and evidently occurring. Also such factor plays a great role. We have understood that each event may be interpreted in different ways. If the question “what has happened” can be answered differently, the more variants we have are estimating some possible consequences of events. As in most cases, everybody does not see the event from his own view. Thus, the one has to consume the news. Consequently, everybody consumes not the description of what really has happened, but the opinion and thoughts of any specific author. In such a way, the media can create the accurate atmosphere within the audience and even can influence on the country. The mass media have the enormous power while creating the news in every democratic state. Politicians often need a public support. In the most cases, they can form a positive public opinion with the help of media. Then, this reflection of reality, produced by the media, will become apparent in the international policy. It influences on the cognition of historians (because every human being living in the society is its part) and can become the part of history.