South Korea: North Able to Conduct Nuclear Test Any Time

Global Security Newswire Staff
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Global Security Newswire Staff
Oct. 16, 2013, 6:02 a.m.

North Korea has the ca­pa­city to carry out a fourth nuc­le­ar weapons test whenev­er it chooses to do so, South Korea’s seni­or ne­go­ti­at­or for stalled de­nuc­lear­iz­a­tion ne­go­ti­ations with Py­ongy­ang said on Tues­day.

Nuc­le­ar en­voy Cho Tae-yong told an audi­ence in Seoul “the as­sess­ment of North Korea’s nuc­le­ar cap­ab­il­it­ies is very grave, and we see it has the abil­ity to carry out an­oth­er round of nuc­le­ar tests whenev­er it wants in tech­no­lo­gic­al terms,” the Yon­hap News Agency re­por­ted.

Py­ongy­ang car­ried out its third and most-power­ful test to date in Feb­ru­ary. Ex­perts be­lieve at least one more un­der­ground ex­plo­sion is ne­ces­sary for the North to fig­ure out how to mini­atur­ize nuc­le­ar weapons for load­ing onto mis­siles.

“There are signs that the five-mega­watt graph­ite mod­er­ated re­act­or has been in op­er­a­tion re­cently, the North is ex­pand­ing nuc­le­ar en­rich­ment fa­cil­it­ies, and con­struc­tion is un­der­way for a small-scale light-wa­ter re­act­or,” Cho said in tick­ing off the vari­ous areas where Py­ongy­ang is ad­van­cing its abil­ity to pro­duce fis­sile ma­ter­i­al for war­heads.

The head of the U.N. nuc­le­ar watch­dog agency in an in­ter­view with Yon­hap said an­oth­er nuc­le­ar test by the North “or threat of an­oth­er test, is very dis­turb­ing.”

In­ter­na­tion­al Atom­ic En­ergy Agency Dir­ect­or Gen­er­al Yukiya Amano said: “We are al­ways pre­pared to go back to North Korea when re­ques­ted. But in or­der that the IAEA goes back to the North, a polit­ic­al agree­ment is es­sen­tial.”

Py­ongy­ang has said it is will­ing to re­turn to re­gion­al aid-for-de­nuc­lear­iz­a­tion ne­go­ti­ations but only on an un­con­di­tion­al basis. It has also tried to get its erstwhile ne­go­ti­at­ing part­ner to ta­citly re­cog­nize it as a nuc­le­ar-armed na­tion.

“In the past, the North con­sidered the pos­sib­il­ity of giv­ing up nuc­le­ar weapons in ex­change for as­sist­ance,” Chinese Cent­ral Party School ana­lyst Zhang Li­an­gui said in an in­ter­view with the Glob­al Times news­pa­per. “But now it wants to turn back to the ne­go­ti­ation table as a nuc­le­ar state and act as a su­per­visor of oth­er nuc­le­ar states, im­ply­ing that if it were to give up nuc­le­ar weapons, it would want oth­ers to do the same first.”

Zhang said oth­er par­ti­cipants in the moribund six-na­tion ne­go­ti­ations — China, Ja­pan, South Korea, Rus­sia and the United States — “should also break the North’s il­lu­sion that one day they will ad­mit its status as a nuc­le­ar state,” Yon­hap re­por­ted.

What We're Following See More »
TRUMP’S ATTORNEY WAS SET TO TESTIFY ON WEDNESDAY
Senate Intel Postpones Testimony by Cohen
1 days ago
THE LATEST
AMENDMENT WOULD HAVE PREVENTED CONSIDERATION
Senate Rejects Effort to Nix SALT Tax Changes
2 days ago
THE LATEST

"Senate Democrats on Thursday failed in their first attempt to save the state and local tax deduction, which helps many residents of California and other high-cost states reduce their federal income tax bills. The Republican-controlled Senate voted 52-47 to reject an amendment that would have prevented the Senate from considering any bill that repeals or limits the deduction as part of a planned tax overhaul."

Source:
INTERVIEWED BY COMMITTEE STAFF
Lewandowski Meets with Senate Intelligence Committee
2 days ago
THE LATEST

"President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski appeared on Capitol Hill for a closed-door interview with the Senate intelligence committee Wednesday, according to a source familiar with the matter. Lewandowski is the latest senior official in Trump's orbit who has met with the committee as part of its investigation into Russian election meddling and possible collusion with the Trump campaign."

Source:
FISHING EXPEDITION
Some Members Seek to Wrap Up Russia Investigations by Year’s End
3 days ago
THE LATEST

"A growing number of key Republicans are sending this message to the leaders of the congressional committees investigating potential Trump campaign collusion with the Russians: Wrap it up soon. In the House and Senate, several Republicans who sit on key committees are starting to grumble that the investigations have spanned the better part of the past nine months, contending that the Democratic push to extend the investigation well into next year could amount to a fishing expedition."

Source:
WROTE LAW THAT WEAKENED OPIOID OVERSIGHT
Trump: Marino Withdrawing Nomination for Drug Czar
4 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