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 »
WWE WRESTLING OWNER
Trump to Nominate Linda McMahon to Head SBA
7 hours ago
THE LATEST
$6.3 BILLION FOR RESEARCH AND OPIOIDS
Senate Sends Medical Cures Bill to Obama’s Desk
12 hours ago
THE LATEST
HAD CONSIDERED RUNNING FOR GUV IN 2018
Oklahoma AG Pruitt to Get the Nod for EPA Chief
13 hours ago
THE DETAILS
TO BE ANNOUNCED IN COMING DAYS
Trump To Nominate Gen. John Kelly For Homeland Security
16 hours ago
THE LATEST

Donald Trump has chosen Gen. James Kelly to be his secretary of homeland security, making Kelly the third general tapped by Trump to serve in his administration. The official announcement is likely to come in the next couple of days. Kelly, who did not endorse Trump during the campaign, "was the commander of U.S. Southern Command until earlier this year."

Source:
EFFORT LIKELY TO DIE IN COMMITTEE
Jordan Can’t Force a Floor Vote on Impeaching Koskinen
1 days ago
THE LATEST
House Freedom Caucus Chairman Jim Jordan attempted to force a floor vote on impeaching IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, but "the House voted overwhelmingly to refer it to the Judiciary Committee. ... The committee will not be required to take up the resolution." Earlier, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi "made a motion to table the resolution, which the House voted against by a 180-235 margin, mostly along party lines."
Source:
×
×

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