The point is not whether one agrees or not, but the insight that can be gained as to the reasoning and "rationale" presented by Kim Myong Chol, the “unofficial” spokesman of Kim Jong-il and North Korea, writing in the Asia Times, a condensation of which appears below:
The North Korean nuclear test … carries five messages.
1. Kim Jong-il is the first to equip Korea with sufficient military capability to take the war all the way to the continental US.
2. The sole reason for the development of nuclear weapons is more than 50 years of direct exposure to naked nuclear threats and sanctions from the US. The Kim administration seeks to commit nuclear weapons to actual use against the US in case of war, never to use them as a tool of negotiations. The US, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, France, India, Pakistan and Israel conduct numerous nuclear detonation experiments in legitimate exercise of their sovereignty.It is sheer illusion to think that sanctions and isolation will stop North Korea from the planned nuclear test. US hostility, threats and sanctions are the very engines that have propelled the development of nuclear weapons.
3. Nuclear-armed North Korea will be a major boon to China and Russia. The two countries are friendless in case of war with the US.
4. The main enemy to North Korea is the US, the sole surviving superpower in the world. North Korea does not care at all whether Japan goes nuclear, or that South Korea and Australia follow suit. Their becoming nuclear powers will signal that the US is no longer a reliable cop. At long last de-Americanization of the US allies and neutralization of the US in the rest of the world will be set into motion.
5. Had the Americans been steadfast in upholding the nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty by reducing their nuclear weapons and respecting the sovereignty and independence of the non-nuclear states, North Korea would not have felt any need to defend itself with nuclear weapons. A nuclear test by North Korea will go a long way toward emboldening anti-American states around the world to acquire nuclear weapons. There is a long line of candidate states.