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North Korea Set For Nuclear Test 'Targeted At The U.S.'

Matt Pressberg |
January 23, 2013 | 9:51 p.m. PST

Executive Producer

North Korea is dedicating its next nuclear test to the U.S. (stephan/Flickr)
North Korea is dedicating its next nuclear test to the U.S. (stephan/Flickr)
North Korea declared Thursday that it is planning to proceed with further long-range rocket launches as well as a "high-level nuclear test", which it acknowledges is intended to provoke the United States.

As Reuters reports, the latest threat from Pyongyang comes one day after the U.N. passed a resolution providing for further sanctions in response to a December launch, which was ruled to be in violation of U.N. rules. North Korea's defiance of the international body has resulted in an overwhelming consensus against the hermit kingdom's weapons program, with even its lone ally China signing on to the latest resulution. However, as Pyongyang made clear, this latest message is intended for a very particular audience, the U.S.

'We are not disguising the fact that the various satellites and long-range rockets that we will fire and the high-level nuclear test we will carry out are targeted at the United States,' North Korea's National Defence Commission said, according to state news agency KCNA."

North Korea's previous rocket launches have yielded a mixed bag of results, although its December effort appeared to successfully place a satellite in orbit. Its prior two nuclear tests used plutonium, of which North Korea has a relatively limited supply. A future test involving enriched uranium would demonstrate additional bomb-making capability, raising new concerns.

Google chairman Eric Schmidt and former New Mexico governor and Clinton Cabinet member Bill Richardson visited North Korea earlier this month as part of a humanitarian mission designed to promote the virtues of a more open internet, a trip described as "unhelpful" in its timing by a State Department official, according to the Telegraph.

Read more of Neon Tommy's coverage of North Korea here.

Reach Executive Producer Matt Pressberg here.



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