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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

North Korea will strengthen nuclear deterrence after pressure


North Korea stepped up its war of words against the United States on Tuesday, vowing to strengthen nuclear deterrence after receiving an alert of new sanctions if it does not abandon the nuclear program. Last week, world leaders gathered in the United States said North Korea had to adhere to international standards on nuclear issues and would face more isolation would "continue on the path of provocation." The spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs North Korea sent a letter through the official news agency KCNA said on Tuesday that it would "bolster its nuclear deterrence, while the United States continued with its hostile policy" and planned " defensive measures "after pressure from Washington. Under the command of the new leader Kim Jong-un, North Korea launched a long-range rocket in April, breaking an agreement with the United States, which have traded food aid for access to its nuclear facilities, among other things. Many experts now believe that the reclusive North is preparing for a third nuclear test, and could even use highly enriched uranium, or the level of production of weapons-the first time. Experts say North Korea already has enough material plutonium for at least six nuclear bombs. The U.S. special representative for North Korea, Glyn Davies, told reporters in Seoul on Monday that Pyongyang could expect a "swift and sure" international community's reaction if other conduct hostile actions. Speaking to reporters in Beijing on Tuesday after meeting with Chinese officials, Davies said he had yet to study the North Korean statement. "I guess I would summarize by saying that I think most of it. I do not know if this adds or diminishes what we already know about the view of North Korea about what is happening right now," he said. China is the only significant economic and diplomatic ally of North Korea and now is putting pressure on the country to back down from plans for a nuclear test. Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul, was skeptical that the latest rhetoric from Pyongyang signaled an imminent nuclear test. ? "North Korea is simply saying:'' Do not shake or cause us''," he said. Recent satellite images published by Defence Weekly, IHS Jane's, a specialist publication of the defense, showed that there was more work at the site of previous nuclear tests that could indicate that the North was preparing for its third nuclear test. The publication shows trolleys and mining excavation equipment as well as a debris from the tunnel could be used for another test. "A third nuclear test by North Korea would be the last move to restart its nuclear weapons program, the country agreed to retire in a Feb. 29 agreement with the U.S.," said an analyst at Janes, James Hardy. Since the death of Kim Jong-il in December, Kim Jong-un, believed to be close to 30 years old, has shown he will continue with the hard-line military policy of his father.

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