NORTH KOREA VOWS “HIGH LEVEL” NUCLEAR TEST; DIPLOMACY NEEDED NOW
Washington DC – January 24, 2013 – New Release – Following the adoption of a new United Nations Security Council sanctions resolution condemning North Korea’s December rocket launch, Pyongyang has vowed to test a nuclear weapons thereby limiting the near-term potential for a nuclear-free Korean peninsula.
“We do not hide that 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 in the upcoming all-out action, a new phase of the anti-U.S. struggle that has lasted century after century, will target against the U.S., the sworn enemy of the Korean people,” the North’s National Defense Commission said carried by the regime’s state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
Lt. General (ret. USA) Robert Gard Jr. PhD, Chairman of the Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation, stressed, “Even if the North Koreans engage in provocative behavior that should not dissuade us from engaging them.”
“North Korea appears technically ready to test another nuclear device but it’s unclear whether Kim Jong-un has made the final political decision to follow through,” said Duyeon Kim, Senior Non-Proliferation and East Asia Fellow at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation and former foreign affairs journalist based in Seoul. “A new test, it will be a missed opportunity that could derail any efforts by South Korean President-elect Park Geun-hye and President Obama to pursue further talks with Pyongyang soon.”
Immediately following the adoption of a Tuesday’s UN Security Council sanctions resolution on condemning North Korea’s December rocket launch, Pyongyang vowed to end efforts to rid the Korean peninsula of nuclear weapons, and hinted at another nuclear test.
A North Korean foreign ministry statement said: “There will be no more discussion over denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in the future although there will be talks for securing peace and security in the peninsula.”
Kim explained, “North Korea is saying they want a peace mechanism or peace treaty on the Korean peninsula AND keep their nukes – that’s unacceptable.”
Previously, North Korea conducted two plutonium tests in 2006 and 2009; some analysts are cautiously waiting to see if the next test uses a uranium core.
Duyeon Kim is available for press inquiries and can be reached by contacting James Lewis at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. Kim has appeared on various television and radio programs regarding North Korea including CBS, BBC, AFP TV, KBS, and China’s Xinhua News Network; she has also been quoted by the AFP, Asia Times, Korea Herald and Korea Times.
The Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation is a Washington-based non-profit think tank working to reduce the number of nuclear weapons stockpiled across the globe, increase international nonproliferation programs targeted at preventing the further proliferation of nuclear weapons and nuclear terrorism, redirect U.S. military spending to address 21st century security threats and halt the proliferation of biological and chemical weapons. www.armscontrolcenter.org