Meanwhile, Back To Our Regularly Scheduled Crisis

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North Korea has cheerfully announced that tough sanctions will be regarded as an act of war. Once again, Kim's logic shows he is a complete and raving lunatic. Apparently he's feeling the need to prove he's really important. He's not, but he likes to think he is. China has been propping his little fantasy life up all along. If they kick the props out, he goes down.

As the UN Security Council weighed what action to take against the regime, Pyongyang's number two and its foreign ministry warned of "physical" measures if it was hit with the kind of sanctions proposed by Washington and Japan, and threatened further tests.

Bush committed his government to seeking a diplomatic rather than military solution to the standoff, while at the same time boosting defense cooperation with Asian allies on the front line against the erratic communist regime.

He added it had yet to be confirmed that Monday's blast, announced by Pyongyang, was in fact a nuclear detonation.

"But this claim itself constitutes a threat to international peace and stability," he said.

"We are working with partners in the region and in the United Nations Security Council to ensure there are serious repercussions for the regime in Pyongyang" as a result of the test, Bush said.

The chance of sanctions grew after the North's main ally China said it would support punitive action.

"If the US continues to harass and put pressure on us, we will regard this as a declaration of war and will take a series of physical countermeasures," said a foreign ministry statement carried by the North's official Korean Central News Agency.

It did not elaborate on the measures, but insisted it was still ready for talks to improve security and stability on the Korean peninsula. "We are ready for both dialogue and confrontation."

It would appear that there may be some kind of deal in the works to allow the interdiction and inspection of all vessels going into and out of North Korean waters, too. That will be a huge blow to the mad midget of Pyongyang. No more missile sales will about freeze his income.

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