North Korea Says it Will Target United States with 3rd Nuclear Test
North Korea dramatically increased its threats against the U.S. when it announced on Thursday that it would carry out additional rocket launches, as well as a nuclear test that would target the United States.
The announcement came from North Korea's top military body, just one day after the U.N. Security Council agreed to a U.S.-backed resolution to censure and sanction the country for a rocket launch in December that violated U.N. rules.
North Korea did not beat around the bush when making it clear that they were targeting the U.S., it's "sworn enemy", with the country's National Defence Commission stating:
"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."
South Korea and other observers believe that North Korea is "technically ready" for a third nuclear test. The decision to proceed with testing is in the hands of leader Kim Jong-un, who in December went ahead with the rocket launch, defying the U.N. sanctions.
China, North Korea's one major diplomatic ally, agreed to the U.S.-backed resolution and also supported resolutions in 2006 and 2009 after the country's two earlier nuclear tests.
Analysts said that North Korea could test as early as February, as South Korea makes preparations to install a new president, or it could opt to stage a nuclear explosion to coincide with former rule Kim-Jong il's birthday on February 16.
Some analysts say that North Korea could feel betrayed by China for agreeing to the latest U.N. resolution, and could also be targeting China with the statement issued on Thursday.
The United States urged North Korea not to go ahead with a third test.
North Korea's long-range rockets are not believed to be capable of reaching the U.S. mainland, and it is not believed that the country has the technology to mount a nuclear warhead on a long-range missile.