- The Washington Times - Friday, February 15, 2013

North Korea has told China, its major ally, that it will conduct one or two more nuclear tests before the end of this year, according to a source who claimed direct knowledge of the message.

“It’s all ready. A fourth and fifth nuclear test and a rocket launch could be conducted soon, possibly this year,” the unnamed source said, in a Reuters report. The source also reportedly claimed the next test would be much bigger than the one conducted Feb. 12. That one yielded an estimated six-to-seven kilotons of TNT; the next will surpass 10 kilotons, according to source statements in the Reuters report.

The source was described as high-level, with direct access to top government officials in both Beijing and Pyongyang, Reuters reported.

The United States on Friday once again called on North Korea to stop its provocations and call off all future nuclear tests, Reuters reported.

The United Nations sanctioned North Korea in 2006 and in 2009, banning the nation from developing missile or nuclear technology.