Following the launch of ‘Gwangmyungsung-3’ experts say that rather than a third nuclear test in the near future, North Korea is more likely to fire off long-range missiles.
Frederick Fleitz formerly a CIA official said to the press after the hearing at the House Committee on Foreign Affairs yesterday, “I am still skeptical that there is going to be a third nuclear test in the short term”.
He added that North Korea will likely provoke again, “I think missiles launches are very likely. Maybe there will be naval confrontations in the Yellow Sea”.
For signs of a third nuclear test in North Korea he pointed out, “Such activities have been frequent there over the past few years”, hinting that they will test nuclear weapons some day but it is not imminent.
“North Korea does not want relationships with the U.S. to be seriously damaged. Second, North Korea has only a limited amount of fissile material”.
Recently, the South Korean intelligence through information obtained through the U.S. commercial satellite ‘QuickBird’ has revealed that, “North Korea is secretly preparing a third nuclear test at Poong-gaeri Kil-Ju district North Hamkyung Province”.
Michael Green, senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) commented, “Looking at their pattern of history, North Korea’s possibility of nuclear test within the next few months cannot be ruled out”.
He added, “It looks like Kim Jong Eun is following Kim Jong Il’s ‘game plan’ but specifics on dialogue and future provocations are unknown”.
North Korean human rights issue and criticism on China’s stance was also raised at the hearing. Representative Howard Berman, Democrat in the committee accused China of doing little to stop North Korea’s provocations and Scott Snyder, senior researcher at the Council on Foreign Relations commented, “China while maintaining the stability of North Korea pursue their own interest. We should not rely on China too much on North Korean issues”.
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