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By Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Siegfried S. Hecker
North Korea has moved a missile with "considerable range" to its east coast, South Korea's defense minister said Thursday, but he added that there are no signs that the North is preparing for a full-scale conflict.
North Korea has moved a missile with "considerable range" to its east coast, South Korea's defense minister said Thursday, but he added that there are no signs that Pyongyang is preparing for a full-scale conflict.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un convened top security and foreign affairs officials and ordered them to take "substantial and high-profile important state measures," state media said Sunday, fueling speculation that he plans to push forward with a threat to explode a nuclear device in defiance of the United Nations.
North Korea announced plans Friday to blast a satellite into space on the back of a long-range rocket, a surprise move that could jeopardize a weeks-old agreement with the U.S. exchanging food aid for nuclear concessions.
China must respond firmly to a violation by North Korea of commitments made by Pyongyang during the course of six-party nuclear negotiations, present and former U.S. officials said on Monday.
The top U.S. envoy to North Korea on Monday said revelations that Pyongyang had made rapid advances in enriching uranium were the latest in a series of provocations over the past 20 years, but denied it was a crisis.
In secret and with remarkable speed, North Korea has built a new, highly sophisticated facility to enrich uranium, according to an American nuclear scientist, raising fears that the North is ramping up its atomic program despite international pressure.
New satellite images show construction under way at North Korea's main atomic complex, apparent proof that Pyongyang is making good on its pledge to build a nuclear power reactor, according to a private American security institute.
"I don't believe North Korea has the capacity to attack the United States with nuclear weapons mounted on missiles, and won't for many years. Its ability to target and strike South Korea is also very limited," nuclear scientist Siegfried Hecker, a senior fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University, said this week.
In comments posted on CISAC's website, Hecker said North Korea knows a nuclear attack would be met with "a devastating nuclear response."