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South Korea Warns That North Korea Is 'Ready' For Another Nuclear Test

South Korea Warns That North Korea Is 'Ready' For Another Nuclear Test

In 2010, they struck another deal to place North Korea under a supervision regime in exchange for humanitarian aid, and violated it again with a series of ballistic missile launches and nuclear tests. Secretary of State John Kerry said it most simply last week in Geneva: "All Kim Jong-un needs to do is say, 'I'm prepared to talk about denuclearization'".

In a statement Friday, Obama condemned the North's test and said it "follows an unprecedented campaign of ballistic missile launches, which North Korea claims are meant to serve as delivery vehicles meant to target the United States and our allies". The United States has about 28,500 troops in South Korea.

Western analysts used to dismiss North Korea's tests as political stunts, meant to impress the domestic audience, capture worldwide attention and leverage aid.

North Korea fired two missiles.

Yet the embrace between Seoul and Beijing has not transferred to the strategic arena, where South Korea has long hoped that closer relations with China would produce greater coordination on the North Korea nuclear issue.

World leaders have lined up to condemn the blast, which was North Korea's second this year and likely it's most powerful to date.

The rogue nation conducted its fifth nuclear test this weekend, leading neighboring South Korea to prepare for war and superpowers United States and China to move together in a rare sign of collective support.

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South Korean military officials plan to raze North Korea's capital if Kim Jong-Un (center) moves to bomb its Asian neighbors with nuclear weapons.

North Korea's official state media reported Sunday that heavy rains from Typhoon Lionrock caused severe flooding in the northeast region of the country, killing at least 133 people and leaving hundreds more missing. There's a basis for that: In defiance of mounting global sanctions, the Kim regime has now staged two nuclear tests in nine months, along with a steady stream of illegal missile launches. Despite evidence to the contrary, China contends that THAAD would undermine China's nuclear deterrent capability and that the existing Patriot PAC-3 missile defense system is capable of protecting South Korea from Pyongyang's missile threats.

So despite what Chinese analysts describe as the government's distaste for Kim and his unpredictable behavior, China's basic calculus on North Korea remains firm. The report noted that the United States could be pulled into the conflict along with China. But he told reporters that South Korea and United States intelligence authorities believe North Korea has the ability to detonate another atomic device anytime.

"It's China's responsibility", Mr. Carter said Saturday at a press conference during an official visit to Norway.

Kim Young Hwan, researcher at the Network for North Korean Democracy and Human Rights, added, "Efforts to secure freedom of information in North Korea will change the mindset of North Korean residents, which will initiate irreversible change at the grassroots level".

China's readiness to pressure its ally, never robust, has waned further in recent months, says Stephan Haggard, director of the Korea-Pacific program at the University of California, San Diego.

But North Korea has vowed to pursue both nuclear and economic development.

"I indicated to him that if the THAAD bothered him, particularly since it has no goal other than defensive and does not change the strategic balance between the United States and China, that they need to work with us more effectively to change Pyongyang's behavior", Obama said, referring to the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system, as the advanced missile defense project is known.

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