Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Military Space News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

US General Predicts Second North Korea Nuclear Test

General B. B. Bell, head of the US forces in South Korea, speaks during a press conference at the US Army base in Seoul, 30 October 2006. Photo courtesy of Jung Yeon-Je and AFP.
by Staff Writers
Seoul (AFP) Oct 31, 2006
The head of US forces in South Korea on Monday predicted North Korea will stage a second nuclear test, as experts said the Stalinist regime's security threat should not overshadow "crimes against humanity" by its rulers. "I can only surmise that since they've tested one, that some time in the future we're going to get another test of a nuclear device," General B.B. Bell said.

Referring to the North's nuclear and missile programmes, he added: "I think we can expect future tests as part of their programme to develop these kinds of very provocative weapons."

The first test on October 9 triggered worldwide shock and UN Security Council sanctions. But Bell told a press conference it had not changed the balance of power on the Korean peninsula.

The general, who would head the South's 650,000-strong military as well as the 29,500 US troops on the peninsula in case of war, warned the North to give "long and deliberate thought" to what he called the enormous capacity of US air and naval forces in the region.

If North Korea attacked the South "we would quickly and decisively defeat aggression," he said.

Despite what some arms experts see as the need for a second test to validate the results of the first, China said last week it had received assurances from North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il that his country has no plans for a second test.

But Kim reportedly added that if others put pressure on Pyongyang, it may take unspecified "further measures."

Weekend news reports said suspicious activities had continued in the northeastern area where the first test was staged.

Military sources said there had been continuous activity at Punggyeri in Kilju county.

"However, it remains unclear whether these activities are related to a second nuclear test or North Koreans are just faking it," one source said.

Experts say any second test would attract much tougher sanctions.

A report prepared by DLA Piper LLP, a global legal firm, and the US Committee for Human Rights in North Korea said the North's rights record should also prompt UN action.

The report, commissioned by former Czech president Vaclav Havel, ex-Norwegian prime minister Kjell Bondevik and US Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel, said the rights issue should be treated on a parallel track with the security threat.

In a foreword, they said Kim Jong-Il and the North Korean government "are actively committing crimes against humanity."

It allowed as many as one million, and possibly many more, of its own people to die during the famine in the 1990s, they said, and 37 percent of children remain chronically malnourished.

Furthermore, North Korea imprisons more than 200,000 people in its modern-day gulag, and it is estimated that more than 400,000 have died in that system over 30 years, the trio said.

In written remarks to AFP, Bondevik said: "Nowhere else in the world today is the abuse of rights so comprehensive and institutionalised as it is in North Korea."

It was time for the UN Security Council to intervene in North Korea on the basis of the government's failure in its responsibility to protect its own people.

The report suggests that the council first adopt a non-punitive resolution under Chapter Six of the UN Charter, seeking UN and other international access to provide humanitarian aid to vulnerable groups and calling for the release of all political prisoners.

Should North Korea fail to comply, the council should consider adopting a binding resolution under Chapter Seven, which can authorise military action to enforce compliance.

Chosun Ilbo, South Korea's largest-circulation newspaper, said North Korea launched five short-range missiles during military exercises last week.

They presumably had ranges between 10 and 50 kilometers (six and 30 miles), it said, quoting an unnamed official.

The official said the launch seemed part of annual military training but it was rare for the North to fire off as many as five missiles.

Bell urged Pyongyang to end its drive for weapons and "attend to the needs of its people instead of the needs of its military."

Source: Agence France-Presse

Related Links
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at

Japan Lawmaker Continues Calls For Nuclear Debate
Tokyo (AFP) Oct 28, 2006
The policy chief of the Japanese ruling party renewed his calls for a debate over whether Japan should acquire nuclear weapons capability, in the face of nuclear threat from North Korea. "The main goal is to stop North Korea's outrageous acts," Shoichi Nakagawa, policy chief of the Liberal Democratic Party, told a press conference in Washington, where he was visiting.

  • China Wants Closer Defense Ties With SE Asia
  • Cold War Policies Could Return
  • China And US Closing Ranks Over North Korea Issue
  • US Military Would Have To Rely On Brute Force In A Second War

  • US General Predicts Second North Korea Nuclear Test
  • Activities Underway At North Korea Nuclear Test Site
  • South Korea Fears Armed Clash If Ships Stopped Near North Korea
  • US Ready To Meet NKorea -- If It Returns To Six-Way Talks

  • North Korea Launched Five Missiles
  • South Korea Successfully Tests Longer-Range Cruise Missile
  • Unique Surface-To-Air Missile Baffles Foreign Military Diplomats In Egypt
  • Breakthrough Could Lead To New Warhead Technologies

  • Lockheed Martin Delivers Key Payload Hardware For Second Missile Warning Satellite
  • USAF Seeks SBIRS Alternatives
  • SBIRS Payload Acoustic Tested
  • Russian Options For Ballistic Missile Defense - Part Two

  • China Marks 50th Anniversary Of Aerospace Industry
  • German-Chinese Aviation Opens New Horizons For Cooperation
  • GAO Report On Progress Of Implementing Aerospace Recommendations
  • US Air-Transportation System Must Become More Agile

  • Unmanned Aircraft Key To Future Operations
  • QinetiQ's Unmanned Fast Inshore Attack Craft Into Service With The Royal Navy
  • Northrop Grumman Enters Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Competition
  • Video Imagery Delivered To Military Forces In Urban Combat

  • Impacts Of An Iraqi Partition
  • Urban Terrorist Memories
  • Alienating Maliki
  • Why US Lost The Baghdad Battle

  • China To Display Military Might At Air Show
  • DRS Receives $12M Order To Produce Precision Targeting Systems
  • First Stealth Fighter Retires After 25 Years Service
  • Breakthrough Could Lead To New Warhead Technologies

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2006 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA PortalReports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additionalcopyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement