Red-faced politicians in Luxembourg have admitted making an approach to North Korea in a bid to buy nuclear technology.
The only Grand Duchy in the world was named last night as spearheading a coalition of small countries trying to achieve an atomic capability.
The Cook Islands, Iceland, Slovenia and the Maldives have all been incriminated in the surreptitious plot that has enraged the White House.
Luxembourg's shame-faced Foreign Minister, Andre Hespiere, admitted that the tiny principality had contacted North Korea to see if the communist dictatorship had any spare nukes up for sale.
"We fully support the war on terror," said Dr Hespiere, "but all of us felt we were ignored on the world stage and a few nuclear bombs would make everyone sit up a take a bit more notice of us."
The Minister revealed that Luxembourg's decision had been taken after a survey revealed that an astonishing 98% of all Americans did not know where the Grand Duchy was.
This survey was later discredited as subsequent research showed that only 38% of Americans were unable to identify Luxembourg's location with 61% confidently pointing to a 64-million square mile area, known as the Pacific Ocean.
The Cook Islands, Iceland, Slovenia and the Maldives were all incorrectly identified by the vast majority of US citizens as areas on the moon.
"We wouldn't have hurt anyone with a nuclear bomb," said Dr Hespiere. "We just wanted to be the centre of attention and be offered stuff, like free power stations, and maybe get a seat on the Security Council. We're sorry."
A statement from US President George W. Bush condemned the coalition of insignificants as "panderingising to the axis of evility".
A statement said: "These Pacific and moon-based countries are a disgrace to the free world. Their actions have threatened peace-loving folk across the globe.
"Luxembourg, and her allies in the Slovenia Islands, Cookland, and the Icy Maldives, have always been suspected as harbouring a dark evil. A light has now been shone on that. Shame on them all.
"The good people of America know their real friends and... they know their enemies, across the world, wherever they are, and there are lots of them."