North Korea Claims Further Nuclear Progress
The North Korean regime has recently stated that it has finished the reprocessing of 8,000 spent fuel rods for weaponized plutonium. If these claims are accurate, this weaponized material can be used in a bomb.
Many are concerned that the Taepodong-2, a long-range missile, is a delivery system capable of striking North America. With the threat of more weapons materials and the reactivation of the Yongbyon nuclear complex, North Korea hopes to force the United States into bilateral talks where it may acquire aid, and possible diplomatic recognition.
Following concerns over CTBT ratification by some more hawkish political leaders (Sen. Jon Kyl in the WSJ, for example), the United States response to North Korea will be closely scrutinized by domestic critics of the Obama Administration.