North Korea Likely to Time Atomic Test for Maximum Attention: Expert

Global Security Newswire Staff
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Global Security Newswire Staff
May 1, 2014, 8:29 a.m.

North Korea may hold off on con­duct­ing a nuc­le­ar test un­til it feels the event will draw max­im­um glob­al at­ten­tion, Stars and Stripes re­por­ted.

Re­cent com­mer­cial satel­lite pho­to­graphs of the North’s Punggye-ri nuc­le­ar test site re­veal a great deal of activ­ity that is likely re­lated to pre­par­a­tions for an­ther un­der­ground atom­ic ex­plo­sion, ex­perts say. While some in South Korea pre­dicted that Py­ongy­ang would choose to det­on­ate its fourth device dur­ing U.S. Pres­id­ent Obama’s vis­it to Seoul last week­end, that nev­er happened.

Ohm Tae-am, an ana­lyst with the Korea In­sti­tute for De­fense Ana­lyses, told the news­pa­per on Thursday that the North might be delay­ing its test be­cause oth­er in­ter­na­tion­al events are at­tract­ing so much at­ten­tion.

The April 16 sink­ing of a ferry filled with South Korean stu­dents has dis­trac­ted Seoul, he said. “South Korea’s in­terest in inter-Korean re­la­tions has been pushed aside, and be­cause of that, North Korea is not likely to con­duct its fourth nuc­le­ar test now,” Ohm said.

Mean­while, the “U.S. has its eyes on the Middle East and Ukraine right now,” said the ana­lyst.

The North Korean for­eign min­istry on Tues­day said there was “no stat­ute of lim­it­a­tions” for when Py­ongy­ang might carry out its re­peatedly threatened “new” kind of atom­ic demon­stra­tion.

The ex­pert web­site 38 North in a Wed­nes­day ana­lys­is of satel­lite im­ages taken the day pri­or con­cluded a “high level of activ­ity” con­tin­ues to be seen at the test site.

“If North Korea fol­lows pre­vi­ous test prac­tices, a con­tin­ued high level of activ­ity in­dic­ates that a nuc­le­ar test is not yet im­min­ent,” reads the brief by im­age ex­pert Jack Liu. “Be­fore the Feb­ru­ary 2013 det­on­a­tion, all equip­ment, vehicles and per­son­nel were with­drawn im­me­di­ately be­fore the blast.”

Liu said he could not see signs that any of the tun­nels at the test site had been closed off, which is typ­ic­ally one of the fi­nal steps be­fore a nuc­le­ar blast takes place.

What We're Following See More »
$618 BILLION IN FUNDING
By a Big Margin, House Passes Defense Bill
1 days ago
THE DETAILS

The National Defense Authorization Act passed the House this morning by a 375-34 vote. The bill, which heads to the Senate next week for final consideration, would fund the military to the tune of $618.7 billion, "about $3.2 billion more than the president requested for fiscal 2017. ... The White House has issued a veto threat on both the House and Senate-passed versions of the bill, but has not yet said if it will sign the compromise bill released by the conference committee this week."

Source:
SUCCEEDS UPTON
Walden to Chair Energy and Commerce Committee
1 days ago
THE DETAILS

"Republicans have elected Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) the next chairman of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee. Walden defeated Reps. John Shimkus (R-IL) and Joe Barton (R-TX), the former committee chairman, in the race for the gavel" to succeed Michgan's Fred Upton.

Source:
BIPARTISAN SUPPORT
Senators Looking to Limit Deportations Under Trump
1 days ago
THE DETAILS

"Democratic and Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee are working on legislation that would limit deportations" under President-elect Donald Trump. Leading the effort are Judiciary Committee members Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC). Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) is also expected to sign on.

Source:
REQUIRES CHANGE IN LAW
Trump Taps Mattis for Defense Secretary
1 days ago
BREAKING

Donald Trump has selected retired Marine Gen. James 'Mad Dog' Mattis as his secretary of defense, according to The Washington Post. Mattis retired from active duty just four years ago, so Congress will have "to pass new legislation to bypass a federal law that states secretaries of defense must not have been on active duty in the previous seven years." The official announcement is likely to come next week.

Source:
MEASURE HEADED TO OBAMA
Senate OKs 10-Year Extension of Iran Sanctions
1 days ago
THE LATEST
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login