North Korea could conduct a third nuclear test or missile launch before next year’s US and South Korean presidential elections if nuclear disarmament talks fail, a senior Seoul official said on Friday.
‘I think that North Korea could test-launch a long-range missile or conduct a third nuclear test if denuclearisation talks with South Korea and the United States fail,’ said Kim Tae Hyo, presidential secretary for national security strategy.
‘North Korea could take provocative acts if it judges it won’t be able to extract economic aid from South Korea and the US ahead of next year’s presidential elections in both countries,’ Kim told a security forum.
Chun Yung Woo, senior presidential security secretary, told the same forum the North must shut down its newly disclosed uranium enrichment programme before the six-nation disarmament talks can be restarted. ‘In order for the six-party talks to resume, North Korea must show sincerity and take the required pre-steps, including a monitored shutdown of its uranium enrichment programme,’ Yonhap news agency quoted him as saying.