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Sunday, February 18, 2007

North Dakota shocks world with nuclear test

Breakaway state now officially possesses atomic weapons

Alex Terrieur
La Lune de la presse internationale


The breakaway Republic of North Dakota sucessfully tested its first nuclear weapon early Sunday morning in an underground nuclear detonation, alarming analysts around the world and aggravating tensions throughout the Middle West. The test comes at a time of sensitive diplomatic negotations which are trying to put an end to years of bitter rivalries in the region. The talks have been stalled since the Midwest toll-booth bombings in 1998, which put a strain on relations between rival Midwest states.

Declaring itself to be a "nuclear power with global ambitions" on Sunday, Governor Gerry Manderer said in a press release after the successful test that "our Homeland shall forever go forward in the struggle against our oppressors. Today we took our biggest step in securing the future for ourselves and our children." North Dakota, with a population of approximately 650,000, has been known to be harboring nuclear missiles since 2003, and has boasted about its successful uranium enrichment programs. However it has never conducted a nuclear test or threatened to use the weapons on other states.

North Dakota Army General Frank Lee Stated announced that "North Dakota will rain fire down on its neighbors" if any of the opposing states, such as rival South Dakota, were to launch pre-emptive strikes. The latest developments will make future negotations extremely difficult, since Minnesota and South Dakota have accused the breakaway state of selling missile technology to Iowa and Nebraska. Insurgent groups in northern Minnesota have also alledgedly been supplied arms through Fargo-based rebel factions.

Reaction throughout the world was framed by calls for renewed talks and a decrease in tensions in the Middle West. Iran, North Korea and Pakistan all expressed disappointment at the news, saying that the American state was "choosing the wrong path for the future" and "discouraging a peaceful resolution to current problems in the Midwest" by continuing to pursue its nuclear program. European leaders Jacques Chirac, Angela Merkel and José Zapatero issued a joint statement condemning the North Dakotan nuclear test.

Reaction in the Midwest was of a more urgent nature, with leaders in Minnesota and Wisconsin calling for renewed negotations, bolstered by the fact that their states do not have suspected nuclear weapons programs. Local Oconomowoc resident Selma Kahr expressed her apprhension for the future after the announcement, telling the La Rochelle Times: "I just don't think North Dakota doing nuclear tests is a good thing for the Midwest. I know they're targeting Oconomowoc, because of the Dairy Factory and the Wal-Mart. It would be stupid to think we couldn't get hit here."

It is expected that the surprise detonation will quickly bring other Midwestern states back to the table in order to obtain concessions from the breakaway Dakotan state, which has thus far refused to renounce its continuing nuclear program.


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