News / Asia

'Little Evidence' of N. Korea Nuclear Test During Obama Visit

VOA News
A U.S. research group says there is "little evidence" North Korea will conduct a nuclear test during President Barack Obama's upcoming visit to Seoul.

South Korea said this week it detected increased activity at the North's Punggye-ri nuclear test site, suggesting an underground test could be imminent.

Some North Korea watchers expect a provocation during Obama's visit, which starts Friday. They note that the North recently warned it could conduct another nuclear test.

The U.S.-Korea Institute confirmed Wednesday that commercial satellite imagery suggests the North has, indeed, begun new operations at Punggye-ri.

However, the new activity appears to consist of moving crates, boxes and materials, and has not reached the level of intensity seen before past tests.

The U.S.-Korea Institute is affiliated with the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Its North Korea reports, posted on its 38 North website, are closely watched.

The institute said the activities at Punggye-ri could represent an early stage of preparations for a nuclear test, or could simply show that North Korea is conducting routine maintenance.

The U.S. State Department said Tuesday it is closely monitoring the situation on the Korean peninsula. It urged Pyongyang "to refrain from actions that threaten regional peace and security.''

The developments come ahead of President Obama's visit to Seoul Friday -- part of his eight-day, four-nation tour of Asia. A major focus of the trip will be North Korea's nuclear program.

The North conducted nuclear tests in 2006, 2009 and 2013 in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions.

Last month, Pyongyang warned it was preparing to stage an unspecified "new form" of nuclear test. It is believed to be working on, but still far from perfecting, a nuclear warhead small enough to fit on an intercontinental ballistic missile.

You May Like

Video Obama Announces Plan to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Obama details troop deployment and other pieces of US plan More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid