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No Indication Of North Korea Nuclear Plan Says Russia

Map of North Korea.
by Staff Writers
Moscow (AFP) Aug 18, 2006
Russia has no information that would confirm a US news report that North Korea might be preparing an underground nuclear bomb test, the foreign ministry said Friday, criticising what it called attempts to "inflame" the situation. "At the moment we have no information that would confirm such reports," a spokesman at Russia's foreign ministry said.

"Such information appears regularly in the foreign media but so far no reports of this kind have been confirmed," the spokesman told AFP.

"We believe that given the need to resolve the situation on the Korean peninsula, inflaming things is counterproductive," he said.

ABC television network said Thursday that the communist state may be preparing an underground nuclear test, quoting US officials.

A senior military official told ABC that an unidentified US intelligence agency had recently observed "suspicious vehicle movement" at a suspected North Korean test site.

The activity included the unloading of large reels of cable outside an underground facility called Pungyee-yok in northeast North Korea, it said.

ABC said cables can be used in nuclear testing to connect an underground test site to observation equipment.

An imminent nuclear test was predicted in North Korea last year but no test occurred.

ABC said underground nuclear tests are "notoriously difficult" to detect ahead of time and noted that the United States had failed to predict nuclear tests by India and Pakistan in 1998.

North Korea claims to have built nuclear weapons and sparked international alarm last month by test-firing seven ballistic missiles.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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Seoul Agrees To Big Aid Package For North, Steps Up Nuclear Monitoring
Seoul (AFP) Aug 20, 2006
South Korea on Sunday announced a 230 million dollar emergency aid package for flood-hit North Korea, while also stepping up its monitoring of a possible nuclear test by the communist state. The unification ministry said the shipment of 100,000 tonnes of rice and other "humanitarian" aid would begin late this month.

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