North Korea


TOKYO, Oct. 3 — North Korea declared Tuesday that it would conduct a nuclear test to bolster its defenses against the United States, raising tensions in the region and marking the communist government’s first unambiguous pledge to prove it has become a nuclear power.

Though North Korea has previously said it possesses nuclear bombs — U.S. intelligence officials have estimated it could have as many as 11 — a test detonation would dramatically change the region’s power dynamics. Analysts have said the United States and area neighbors including China, Japan and South Korea would be forced to deal far more harshly with the North Koreans.

World reaction here