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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

North Korea may conduct new nuke test explosion

RIA Novosti

11:41 18/11/2010 MOSCOW, November 18 (RIA Novosti) - North Korea is likely to prepare a new underground nuclear test explosion, the Russian Trud daily said on Thursday citing Japanese Kyodo news agency.

In 2009, Pyongyang conducted its second underground nuclear test explosion and test-launched at least six short-range surface-to-air and anti-ship missiles in defiance of previous UN resolutions.

The satellite images taken by DigitalGlobe Inc., a U.S. company majoring in geographical imagery, show some activity at the site in North Hamgyong Province where Pyongyang conducted its second nuclear test, Trud said.

A U.S. military expert told the news agency that at least six vehicles and objects resembling equipment appeared on the test ground.

The satellite photos also captured a pile of soil allegedly appearing after digging a tunnel for the underground nuclear test.

Commenting on possible seismic consequences from an explosion, the deputy head of the Russian Academy of Sciences Schmidt Institute of Physics of the Earth, Evgeny Rogozhin, said that "on the one hand, there is no great threats for the Earth's seismic activity since the power of the explosion cannot cause a severe earthquake, but on the other hand, the explosion can trigger a quake if there is a swelling epicenter nearby."

Pyongyang is already under a number of UN sanctions over its first nuclear test carried out in 2006.

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