North Korea, Neclear
A state-run think tank predicted Friday that North Korea may conduct a third nuclear test
next year to bolster its capabilities as the dynastic leadership succession gets underway.
In a report, titled the “Prospects for International Security and Political Environment,”
the Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security (IFANS)
also raised the possibility that an “assertive China” will
continue to make its presence felt next year.
The predictions were made amid growing concern over
China’s support of North Korea, despite the North’s
deadly attack on a South Korean island and the disclosure to a visiting U.S.
scientist of a new facility to produce enriched uranium.
South Korea was wary of the Chinese foreign ministry’s
comments this week that “North Korea has the right to use nuclear power
for peaceful purposes,” as some officials here worried it
would send the wrong signal to the North.