Seoul mum on 'Pyongyang's third N-test'



Open Radio of North Korea, a Seoul-based rights group, quoting unnamed Pyongyang sources said last week that Kim had told military and ruling party officials to prepare for a new test. The North conducted its first nuclear test in 2006 and a second in May, sparking tough UN Security Council sanctions.

According to Open Radio, Kim said during a trip to Wonsan on the east coast on August 26 that a third test was needed to nudge the United States towards bilateral talks as well as to protest the UN sanctions.

Seoul’s unification ministry and National Intelligence Service, which both handle cross-border relations, on Sunday declined to comment on the allegations. Young Howard, head of Open Radio of North Korea, on Wednesday separately told Seoul-based PBC radio that a third nuclear test would very likely use enriched uranium, instead of the plutonium used in the first two tests.

He said he expected the test to occur between September 20 and October 10.
September 20 marks the end of the North’s new “150-day” campaign for boosting its economy, while October 10 is the anniversary of the formation of the North’s communist party.

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