AFP | The Australian
North Korea has kept up preparations for a new nuclear test after having carried out previous launches in 2006 and 2009, South Korea’s Defence Minister Kim Kwan-Jin says.
“In fact, North Korea has been preparing for this for quite a long time,” Mr Kim told a news conference with Pentagon chief Leon Panetta. ”And when the time comes for a political decision, it may in fact resort to this third nuclear test.”
Mr Kim endorsed efforts to persuade Pyongyang to resume six-nation talks on halting its drive to build nuclear weapons – the discussions have been frozen since December 2008 – and described the regime under new leader Kim Jong-un as “quite stable”.
The new leader had tried to carry out economic reforms but the effect remained unclear, Mr Kim said. ”He seems to be making attempts to bringing a better life to his people, but the likelihood of success … it’s yet to be seen,” he said through an interpreter.