North Korea vows n-test, threatens US
The North’s threat marked the boldest challenge its new, untested leader, Kim Jong-un, has posed at both his country’s longtime foe, the United States, and its last remaining major ally, China, and rattled governments in northeast Asia that are undergoing sensitive transitions of power.
In a statement issued through state-run media, the National Defence Commission, the highest governing agency, headed by Kim, said “a variety of satellites and long-range rockets which will be launched by the DPRK one after another and a nuclear test of higher level which will be carried out by it” will be “targeted” at “the US, the sworn enemy of the Korean people.”
The statement, which used the acronym for the North’s official name, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, did not clarify when it would conduct such a test, which would be the first since Kim came to power following the death of his father, Kim Jong-il, in December 2011.
But citing preparations at Punggye test site in northeastern North Korea, Army Col Wi Yong-seob, deputy spokesman of the Defence Ministry of South Korea, said on Thursday, “North Korea can conduct a nuclear test as soon as its leadership makes up its mind.”
North Korea had previously hinted at the possibility of conducting a nuclear test, as its Foreign Ministry
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