North Korea preparing for '3rd test'

2011-02-20 15:05

kalahari.com

Seoul - North Korea has started digging tunnels at its nuclear test site in apparent preparation for a third atomic detonation, a report said on Sunday.

The North started building at least two new tunnels at Punggye-ri in the northeastern province of North Hamgyong for a possible underground atomic test, Yonhap news agency said, citing a senior Seoul official.

The communist nation conducted its first two nuclear tests, in October 2006 and May 2009, in Punggye-ri, the second coming the month after it walked out of six-party regional nuclear disarmament talks.

"It is obvious evidence that it (the North) is preparing a third nuclear test," said the unnamed official quoted by Yonhap.

Pyongyang is building more than one tunnel to choose the best one for a possible test, as tunnels cannot be reused after a nuclear test blast, the official was quoted as saying.

The official added the possible test would probably be carried out using material from the North's plutonium stockpile, which Seoul and Washington estimate to be enough for six to eight bombs.

The nuclear-armed North in November disclosed an apparently operational uranium enrichment plant to visiting US experts, heightening regional security fears.

Pyongyang claims the programme is for peaceful energy development. But outside experts have said it could easily be converted to produce weapons-grade uranium, giving the North a potential second way of making atomic bombs.

Security concerns heightened further after recent satellite images showed Pyongyang was taking steps to test a missile that could eventually reach the US.

An image posted on the website of US defence information group GlobalSecurity.org showed a completed missile launch tower at the North's Tongchang-ri base on the west coast.

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates warned last month that North Korea could have missiles within five years that would directly threaten the United States.

- SAPA
Read more on:    north korea  |  north korea nuclear
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

20% off all TV Series!

Want to have a chilled day at home? Get 20% off TV series, the perfect excuse to "veg out". Shop now!

Save R700 on the Hisense LED TV Now R2499

Get the Hisense 32” HD ready LED TV for only R2499. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Your ideas may feel like a sea of thoughts swimming around every which way, and now you need to find something to contain them in...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.