Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
by Staff Writers
Seoul (AFP) Jan 28, 2013
New satellite images reveal ongoing activity at North Korea's atomic test site, according to a US research institute, as expectation mounts of an imminent nuclear detonation by the isolated state.
The images, as recent as January 23, suggest the facility would be ready to conduct a test "in a few weeks or less" once the order is given, the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University posted on its 38 North website Sunday.
"Snowfall and subsequent clearing operations as well as tracks in the snow reveal ongoing activity at buildings and on roadways near the possible test tunnel," it said.
The institute's analysis followed a series of daily threats from North Korea that it is preparing its third nuclear test in response to UN sanctions imposed on Pyongyang for a long-range rocket launch in December.
In a meeting with top security officials, North Korean leader Kim Jong-UN ordered "substantial and high-profile important state measures," fuelling speculation of an imminent detonation.
Military chief Hyon Yong-Chol, the head of the army's politburo Choe Ryong-Hae and spy chief Kim Won-Hong attended the meeting, state television reported Sunday.
Last week's UN resolution imposing sanctions threatened further "significant action" if Pyongyang conducted a nuclear test.
The North's two previous detonations in 2006 and 2009 followed a similar pattern of a missile launch, followed by UN measures, followed by a nuclear test.
US warnings about the consequences of a third test have been backed by unusually strident criticism of Pyongyang by its sole major ally China.
Last week, a state-run newspaper close to China's ruling Communist Party, said in an editorial that Beijing would "not hesitate" to reduce aid to North Korea if it went ahead.
China has been the primary benefactor of Pyongyang since the 1950-1953 Korean War, providing critical diplomatic and economic support.
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at SpaceWar.com
Learn about missile defense at SpaceWar.com
All about missiles at SpaceWar.com
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at SpaceWar.com
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|