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N. Korea could conduct nuke test, says its ambassador to UN

N. Korea could conduct nuke test, says its ambassador to UN

Posted April. 07, 2014 03:31,   


North Korea has again threatened with "new form of nuclear test" citing the U.S. pressure against its missile and human rights issues.

Holding a press conference without any notice on Friday (local time), North Korean Deputy Ambassador to the U.N. Ri Tong Il said, “If the U.S. continues pressure on us at the pretext of our missile and human rights issues, we have no choice but to conduct a new form of nuclear test.” Ri added, “We drew a ‘red line’ and if the U.S. continues provocations and crosses this line, we will conduct a new form of nuclear test.”

Asked "what the red line means," Ri declined to give direct answer, but said, “We will no longer tolerate the U.S’s provocations related to nuclear weapons, missile and human rights issues.”

Ri said, “The U.S. is creating tension with South Korea-U.S. joint military drills, blocking the path toward denuclearization (of the Korean Peninsula).” He also repeated his claim that “The U.S.`s hostile policy toward the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) at the pretext of nuclear weapons and human rights issues is meant to politically and militarily isolate North Korea.” Notably, he said, “The U.S. seeks a ‘regime change (in North Korea)’ by the means of missiles, denuclearization and human rights issues, and this is the goal of the U.S.’s hostile policy towards North Korea,” adding, “If the U.S. crosses this red line, you will learn what results will come.”

Asked about details of a "new form of nuclear test" was, Ri only said the world would have to “wait and see.” Citing the "Ssangyong Drill,” a South Korea-U.S. joint landing exercise conducted in late March, Ri said, “The U.S. is conducting such a drill to occupy Pyongyang,” adding, “Due to this, the Korean Peninsula is under extreme tension.”

Ri further said, “The U.S. is creating an increasingly serious stir by mentioning North Korean human rights issue. Since U.S. Special Envoy for North Korean Human Rights Issues Robert King has been taking the lead in this regard, his visit to the North can never be accepted.”

On the North’s alleged “new form of nuclear test,” Jeffrey Lewis, director at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, said in his op-ed piece published in "38 North," a website on North Korea, "The original Korean, however, suggests that something new about how North Korea tests, not what it tests,” suggesting three possible scenarios.

The first is to detonate two or more of nuclear devices simultaneously at multiple places. This measure is designed to conduct many tests in a limited time, and was widely used by the former Soviet Union, which had long cold winter and lacked fund and resources. Lewis said, “The Soviet Union conducted 146 salvo nuclear tests in which 400 nuclear devices were detonated, while the United States conducted 63 salvo nuclear tests in which 158 nuclear devices were detonated.” This is related to the situation wherein the North is recently digging multiple pits at nuclear test sites at the village of Pungkye-ri, Kilju County, North Hamkyong Province.

The second is a nuclear test conducted in vertical pits that are created by digging vertically into flat land, rather than horizontal pits that are formed by digging the side of a mountain as is the case at present. Considering the scale of the nuclear test site at Pungkye-ri, only a nuclear test amounting to dozens of kilotons in magnitude can be conducted there, and vertical, deeper pits need to be mined at a third site to conduct a larger scale test.

The third is a nuclear test in the atmosphere using thermo-nuclear material, but since China, for fearing of radioactive contamination in the air, will highly likely block it, the North cannot afford to use this option, Lewis explained.