Photo: AP Photo/Vincent Yu
Citing North Korea’a KCNA, Bloomberg reports that North Korea is threatening “all-out confrontation” against the U.S. and others.The country is reportedly said to be open to negotiations on peace and security, but not denuclearization.
Yonhap’s Kim Eun-jung reports: “North Korea has completed all technical preparations for a nuclear test and can carry it out in a few days if it makes a decision, a South Korean intelligence source said Wednesday.”
More from South Korea’s Yonhap News:
“In the new phase of our century-long struggle against the United States, we do not hide the fact that various satellites, long-range missiles that we will continue to launch and high-level nuclear test we will conduct will target our sworn enemy, the United States,” the North’s National defence Commision said in a statement carried by the communist nation’s Korean Central News Agency.
Reuters’ David Chance has the same quote, but translated a bit differently:
“We are not disguising the fact that the various satellites and long-range rockets that we will fire and the high-level nuclear test we will carry out are targeted at the United States,” the country’s top military body said.
Earlier this month, the highly-respected geopolitical risk expert Ian Bremmer of the Eurasia Group published his list of top global risks and red herrings for 2013.
Despite his vast expertise, he was uncertain as to how the North Korea story would unfold this year. From his report:
Sometimes…you just can’t know what’s happening. Looking at North Korea this year, that’s really the case. We’ve had a fairly sudden leadership transition in the world’s most totalitarian state, under massive economic pressure, with an untested 28-year-old now running the country. So far, very surprisingly, it’s gone well. Indeed, it’s probably gone better than anyone would have dared presumed–in his first year of power, Kim Jong-un has presided over a regime that’s a bit more transparent, a bit more balanced, and barring a few early purges, a bit more stable.
How has the unknown and untested Kim managed to pull that off? Is he sincere? Can he continue? We honestly don’t know. And neither does anybody else. It’s almost impossible to assess whether North Korea is becoming more stable and, if it is, whether that now means the South Koreans, in particular, can start resting a bit more easily. Everything about the North Korean system tells you it’s a perilous bet as a country–but what causes trouble and when? We’d like to say it’s not worth losing sleep over. That’s not quite true. But at the same time, working harder to assess what exactly is going bump in the night doesn’t feel very purposeful. Sorry.
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