Seoul: An ‘offended’ North Korea seemed to retaliate on Wednesday after the international condemnation over its rocket launch failure, increasing the possibility that it would launch a third nuclear test.
The state also got rid of an agreement to allow back inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency. That followed a U.S. decision to cancel a deal earlier this year to provide food aid to the country.
North Korea called the U.S. decision a hostile act, adding it was no longer bound by its February 29 agreement with Washington, dashing any hopes that new leader Kim Jong-un would soften a foreign policy that has for years been based on the threat of an atomic arsenal to leverage concessions out of regional powers.
“We have thus become able to take necessary retaliatory measures, free from the agreement,” the official KCNA news agency said, without specifying what actions it might take.
“If it conducts a nuclear test, it will be uranium rather than plutonium because North Korea would want to use the test as a big global advertisement for its newer, bigger nuclear capabilities,” said Baek Seung-joo of the Seoul-based Korea Institute for Defence Analysis.