Monday, January 14, 2013

North Korea 'preparing for new nuclear test'


North Korea vowed on Monday to strengthen its defences amid concerns the country may conduct a nuclear test as a follow-up to last month's long-range rocket launch.

Citing US hostility, Pyongyang's foreign ministry said in a memorandum that North Korea will "continue to strengthen its deterrence against all forms of war".

The memorandum carried by state media did not say what action North Korea would take to defend itself. However, North Korea has claimed the right to build atomic weapons to protect itself from the United States, which stations more than 28,000 troops in South Korea.

It came as reports said North Korea has informed China that it is planning to conduct the nuclear test this week.

Quoting South Korean intelligence sources, local media said Pyongyang warned its main political ally that the underground test would be carried out before January 20.

Since North Korea successfully launched a ballistic missile in December, there has been growing concern that the regime of Kim Jong-un would follow that triumph up with its third nuclear test.

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