Thursday, May 24, 2012

North Korea's pledge of no plans for nuclear tests a mere smokescreen

North Korea's recent comment that it has no plans to conduct any nuclear tests is merely an attempt to shake up the international community and should be met with extreme caution.

"We planned to launch a scientific and technological satellite for peaceful purposes from the beginning, and have no intention of taking any military action such as nuclear tests," a North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman said in reference to the country's failed firing of a ballistic missile in April.

It was the first time that North Korea had announced its official view on nuclear tests since its new leader Kim Jong Un took office.

On two previous occasions, Pyongyang conducted a nuclear test after launching a long-range ballistic missile. If the country really refrains from conducting a third nuclear test, the move should be welcomed.

However, the spokesman added that "if the United States sticks to its sanctions and suppression of North Korea, we'll have no choice but to take countermeasures from the viewpoint of self-defense."

This should be interpreted as threatening to conduct another nuclear test depending on the United States' stance toward North Korea. In effect, Pyongyang is demanding a compromise from Washington, and this is a typical way the country intimidates the international community.

Following its failed launch of a missile in April, signs have been detected that relevant facilities were being serviced at a base along the Sea of ​​Japan coast. Numerous experts have pointed to the possibility that North Korea will launch another missile, which it will call a satellite. Read More