No ‘Statute of Limitations’ for Next Nuclear Test, North Korea Says


Global Security Newswire Staff
Global Security Newswire Staff
April 30, 2014, 7:32 a.m.

With satel­lite im­ages show­ing North Korea con­tinu­ing to ready nuc­le­ar-test fa­cil­it­ies, Py­ongy­ang on Tues­day sug­ges­ted it feels con­sid­er­able lee­way on tim­ing.

“There is no stat­ute of lim­it­a­tions to the D.P.R.K.’s de­clar­a­tion that it will not rule out a new form of nuc­le­ar test cla­ri­fied by it in the March 30 state­ment,” a North Korean for­eign min­istry spokes­man said in a state­ment dis­sem­in­ated by re­gime-con­trolled me­dia.

The spokes­man also re­buked U.S. Pres­id­ent Obama for his re­cent trip to the re­gion, say­ing it was “dan­ger­ous” and risked bring­ing a “more acute con­front­a­tion and nuc­le­ar arms race to Asia”, Agence France-Presse re­por­ted.

Dur­ing his vis­it to South Korea, the U.S. lead­er said the North could be pun­ished with tough­er sanc­tions if con­ducts a fourth un­der­ground nuc­le­ar ex­plo­sion at its Punggye-ri test site.

High-res­ol­u­tion com­mer­cial satel­lite pho­to­graphs taken on Tues­day show activ­ity at both the “South Portal” area and “West Portal” area of the test site, the In­sti­tute for Sci­ence and In­ter­na­tion­al Se­cur­ity con­cluded in a new im­age ana­lys­is.

Activ­it­ies were de­tec­ted last week around the en­trances of two test tun­nels in the South Portal area, though it was not clear from the ana­lyzed im­ages wheth­er the work was re­lated to pla­cing nuc­le­ar devices in each of the tun­nels.

It is also not cer­tain what the de­tec­ted activ­it­ies at the West Portal area mean, ac­cord­ing to the IS­IS ana­lys­is.

“Could North Korea be us­ing the West Portal to as­semble a nuc­le­ar device for det­on­a­tion in the South Portal, pre­par­ing the West Portal for an ex­plo­sion either in­di­vidu­ally or in con­junc­tion with one in the South Portal, or car­ry­ing out some oth­er type of activ­ity there?” the ana­lys­is pon­ders.

Coun­try ex­pert Bruce Kling­n­er In a Tues­day column for the web­site 38 North ar­gued that if Py­ongy­ang does det­on­ate an­oth­er nuc­le­ar device, Wash­ing­ton should re­spond with much tough­er fin­an­cial sanc­tions than it has in the past.

The Her­it­age Found­a­tion’s North­east Asia fel­low re­com­men­ded the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion im­pose third-party sanc­tions on en­tit­ies — par­tic­u­larly those in China — that do busi­ness with black­lis­ted North Korean firms; define Py­ongy­ang as a primary money laun­der­ing con­cern, per­haps un­der the Pat­ri­ot Act; and sanc­tion “the en­tire North Korean gov­ern­ment,” in­stead of solely in­di­vidu­als and agen­cies, as has been past prac­tice.

What We're Following See More »
In Dropout Speech, Santorum Endorses Rubio
2 days ago

As expected after earlier reports on Wednesday, Rick Santorum ended his presidential bid. But less expected: he threw his support to Marco Rubio. After noting he spoke with Rubio the day before for an hour, he said, “Someone who has a real understanding of the threat of ISIS, real understanding of the threat of fundamentalist Islam, and has experience, one of the things I wanted was someone who has experience in this area, and that’s why we decided to support Marco Rubio.” It doesn’t figure to help Rubio much in New Hampshire, but the Santorum nod could pay dividends down the road in southern states.

Rubio, Trump Question Obama’s Mosque Visit
2 days ago

President Obama’s decision to visit a mosque in Baltimore today was never going to be completely uncontroversial. And Donald Trump and Marco Rubio proved it. “Maybe he feels comfortable there,” Trump told interviewer Greta van Susteren on Fox News. “There are a lot of places he can go, and he chose a mosque.” And in New Hampshire, Rubio said of Obama, “Always pitting people against each other. Always. Look at today – he gave a speech at a mosque. Oh, you know, basically implying that America is discriminating against Muslims.”

Cruz Must Max Out on Evangelical Support through Early March
2 days ago

For Ted Cruz, a strong showing in New Hampshire would be nice, but not necessary. That’s because evangelical voters only make up 21% of the Granite State’s population. “But from the February 20 South Carolina primary through March 15, there are nine states (South Carolina, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, and North Carolina) with an estimated white-Evangelical percentage of the GOP electorate over 60 percent, and another four (Texas, Kansas, Louisiana, and Missouri) that come in over 50 percent.” But after that, he better be in the catbird’s seat, because only four smaller states remain with evangelical voter majorities.

Rubio Now Winning the ‘Endorsement Primary’
2 days ago

Since his strong third-place finish in Iowa, Marco Rubio has won endorsement by two sitting senators and two congressmen, putting him in the lead for the first time of FiveThirtyEight‘s Endorsement Tracker. “Some politicians had put early support behind Jeb Bush — he had led [their] list since August — but since January the only new endorsement he has received was from former presidential candidate Sen. Lindsey Graham.” Meanwhile, the New York Times reports that fueled by resentment, “members of the Bush and Christie campaigns have communicated about their mutual desire to halt … Rubio’s rise in the polls.”

Carly Fiorina Will Not Be Allowed to Debate on Saturday
1 days ago

ABC News has announced the criteria for Saturday’s Republican debate, and that means Carly Fiorina won’t be a part of it. The network is demanding candidates have “a top-three finish in Iowa, a top-six standing in an average of recent New Hampshire polls or a top-six placement in national polls in order for candidates to qualify.” And there will be no “happy hour” undercard debate this time. “So that means no Fiorina vs. Jim Gilmore showdown earlier in the evening for the most ardent of campaign 2016 junkies.