North Korea may test a third nuclear bomb late this month or early next should the United Nations and the US strengthen sanctions against the communist nation, a South Korean group of North Korean defectors said.
North Korea leader Kim Jong Il told his top military and party officials last month to prepare for another nuclear weapons test in the event the US continues to pressure North Korea and reject its attempts at starting dialogue, the Seoul- based Open Radio for North Korea said in an e-mailed newsletter, citing an unidentified high-ranking North Korean official.
The US is orchestrating financial restrictions under UN auspices against North Korean companies suspected of being involved with its nuclear development programme. The State Department said yesterday it would freeze assets of North Korea?s state-run general Bureau of Atomic Energy and the Korea Tangun Trading Corp.
North Korea, which in May tested a second nuclear device, last week said it?s in the final stages of weaponising plutonium and can either engage in negotiations or accelerate its programme. The communist nation walked out of disarmament talks involving the US, China, Russia, South Korea and Japan in April.
Stephen Bosworth, the top American envoy on North Korean nuclear issues, said over the weekend that the US would hold talks with Kim?s government only within the six-party framework.