Washington, May 1 (ANI): North Korea may fulfill a vow to conduct another nuclear test, analysts say.
According to them, Pyongyang is elevating the nuclear threat level to new extremes.
That's the impression analysts are getting from the North's latest and probably most sensational demand, that the United Nations Security Council issue an apology for having condemned its test-firing of a long-range Taepodong-2 missile on April 5, reports the Christian Science Monitor.
Most analysts say North Korea is serious about carrying out its threat to "defend its supreme interests," as a North Korean spokesman put it, with "measures that will include nuclear tests and test-firings of intercontinental ballistic missiles."
The real question is how soon North Korea will be able to test another warhead - and how long the North is prepared to wait to see if the United States shows serious signs of yielding to direct dialogue outside the format of six-party talks.
"I think it's an actual threat," CSM quoted Paik Sung-joo, the director of the Center for Strategy and Security at the Korean Institute for Defense Analyses, as saying.
North Korea conducted its only underground nuclear test in October 2006, but the device was far smaller than any tested by the eight full-fledged nuclear powers - an elite grouping among which the North would like recognition as a member.
The timing of North Korea's next test appears to rest on two major considerations - the North's own succession crisis and evolving US policy. (ANI)