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Highlights from the world's press

Compiled by Ravi Agrawal
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(CNN) -- Papers around the world have strongly criticized North Korea's nuclear weapons test.

The New York Times says "North Korea's government is too erratic, too brutal, and too willing to sell what it has built to have a nuclear bomb."

"Administration hawks suggested last week that perhaps the best thing would be for the North to test, so the world would know exactly what it was dealing with. The hawks appear to have gotten their way. So why don't we feel safer?"

South Korea's Joongang Daily says "North Korea is exercising a diplomacy of brinkmanship with nuclear weapons and missiles." Its editorial continued ominously: "South Korea will have no choice but to think about possessing nuclear weapons itself, since it would have no other way to keep safe from the North's aggression. The same would hold true for both Japan and Taiwan. This would certainly lead Northeast Asia toward military confrontation, instead of toward peaceful coexistence."

Israel's Haaretz says the test is "a portent of bad things to come."

"One should not assume that the third member of the "axis of evil," Iran, will take fright and cancel its plans to acquire nuclear arms. Iran may even speed up its efforts and form a strategic alliance with North Korea, one of its main suppliers of missiles, that will include the sale of off-the-shelf nuclear weapons."

The Times in the UK says "Kim Jong Il has gone for broke," going on to suggest that "Mr. Kim's departure is the neatest way out of crisis. He may have hastened the forced exit he is desperate to prevent."

India's Telegraph says: "The worst has happened, but it may still be possible to contain the damage and even persuade North Korea to roll back its nuclear program if there are sufficient incentives on offer," adding that the test may lead to Japan revisiting its no-nuclear stance.

Japan's Asahi Shimbun warns "Japan's new sanctions could include banning port calls from other North Korean vessels and slapping an embargo on imports and exports of certain agricultural, marine and other products."

The Guardian in the UK says "for the first time, nuclear weapons are in the hands of a state that is entirely without restraint."

"The regime of Kim Jong-il is the nightmare that has been waiting to happen since the nuclear age began. It has cut itself off from the world to an extent that makes it hard to see how any amount of condemnation, cajoling or coaxing could induce it to come to agreement ... It may be imperfect to have the old nuclear powers preventing others acquiring these weapons. But in an imperfect world it is the only means of restraint we have. We simply can't allow a regime as reckless as Kim's to have these weapons."

Pakistan's Dawn says that "unlike the nuclear tests by Pakistan and India, which were carried out within South Asia's power equation, the North Korean test is likely to have wider repercussions, especially for two of America's major allies in the Far East  South Korea and Japan ... The behavior of the western powers, America especially, is not above board, because they themselves have contributed to nuclear proliferation by aiding Israel in its clandestine nuclear project."

Moscow journalist murder

The New York Times says Anna Politkovskaya, gunned down over the weekend in Moscow, was the 13th Russian journalist killed since Vladimir Putin became president -- and one of the bravest.

"We may never know who killed her because politically motivated crimes have a way of never being solved in Mr. Putin's Russia ... Police investigators seized all her research materials from her home and her office at Novaya Gazeta, one of the few independent newspapers still functioning in Moscow. We hope they lead to arrests, and not a cover-up. It is hard to be optimistic."

The Los Angeles Times says the continued killings of investigative reporters proves how crucial their work is.

"Journalists are not just being routinely killed in Iraq or by terrorists. Investigative reporters who expose corrupt politicians, organized crime or the astonishing power of illicit traffickers of people, drugs or weapons are regularly murdered ... Insurgents, criminals, terrorists and corrupt politicians understand very well that it is the months or years of digging by professional reporters, many of them supported by traditional news organizations, that will expose misdeeds."


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The UK's Sun newspaper dedicated its front page to North Korea's nuclear test.

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