North Korea has been throwing a thermonuclear tantrum this week, testing an atomic bomb and launching several experimental short-range missiles. Now spy satellites indicate the military dictatorship is setting up a launch site for a long-range missile, according to South Korean officials. In response to the latest provocation, Defense Secretary Robert Gates delivered his harshest words yet for dictator Kim Jong-Il, warning that North Korea's nuclear program was a "harbinger of a dark future." He added: "We will not stand idly by as North Korea builds the capability to wreak destruction on any target in Asia—or on us." At the same time, Gates has tried to quell fears of military confrontation by de-emphasizing the immediate threat posed by North Korea's recent bluster.
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