January 23, 2013
N.Korea Plans to Conduct Third Nuclear Test
North Korea says it will conduct a third nuclear test and carry out more rocket launches in response to tightened United Nations sanctions.
The official Korean Central News Agency Thursday said the moves are aimed at what it called its "arch enemy," the United States. The story, which quoted a statement by the National Defense Commission, did not give a time frame for the launches or tests.
These threats come a day after the U.N. Security Council unanimously condemned a December rocket launch by North Korea as a violation of existing U.N. sanctions that ban Pyongyang from developing missile and nuclear technology.
If the new threat is carried out, it would be the third time that North Korea has conducted a nuclear test following U.N. condemnation of long-range rocket launches.
Recent satellite photos suggest North Korea has been preparing for a nuclear test, at the same Punggye-ri site where it conducted its previous tests in 2006 and 2009.
South Korean officials have suggested that the facility could be ready to conduct a test within days of a decision by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Most of North Korea's rocket launches and nuclear tests have been viewed as having only limited success, at best. But its December launch was the first time Pyongyang was successful in placing a satellite into orbit, suggesting its technology is improving.