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North Korea may launch nuclear test: military observer

2012/04/26 22:17:21

Hong Kong, April 26 (CNA) North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will very likely launch a nuclear test in order to cement his power, a military observer said Thursday.

Andrei Pinkov, founder and editor-in-chief of the Canada-based monthly Kanwa Asian Defence Review, said North Korea's threat to turn the South Korean government into "ashes" within four minutes with devastating strikes was "a hint of a nuclear test."

Such a test is very likely during the transition of power, and Kim may be trying to use it to drive a wedge among big countries like the U.S., Japan, China and Russia, Pinkov said.

While North Korea's previous two nuclear tests involved plutonium, Pinkov said that in the upcoming test, if there is one, uranium might be used.

As for the intercontinental ballistic missile displayed in Pyongyang on April 15, Pinkov said its design highly resembles China's Changzheng (Long March) No. 1 rocket, but the structure is quite rough and the proportion is not quite right.

He also questioned the stability of the missile if Pyongyang does have it in its arsenal. Therefore, Pinkov said, the missile will not be combat-ready.

(By Stanley Cheung and Jamie Wang)
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