'North Korea may conduct 3rd nuke test in 2011'

Seoul, Dec 24 (ANI): North Korea might carry out a third atomic test next year and prospects for bilateral talks with the South are "slim", according to a research report of a South Korean foreign ministry institute.

According to China Daily, the report was published a day after Pyongyang vowed a nuclear "sacred war" and the ROK held a major military drill near the border.

"There is a possibility for DPRK carrying out its third nuclear test to seek improvement in its nuclear weapons production capability, keep the military tension high and promote Kim Jong-un's status as the next leader," the report said, referring to Kim Jong-il's youngest son, Pyongyang's heir apparent.

"Tension between the two countries will remain high with chances of additional DPRK attacks on ROK staying high. Chances of a summit meeting between leaders of the two sides look slim," is added.

The analysis for 2011 was written by the Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security, which is run by the Foreign Ministry.

However, analysts say that Pyongyang's tactic of demonstrating what progress it has made towards developing a nuclear weapon is a ploy aimed at restarting talks between itself, South Korea, China, Japan, Russia and the United States, from which it hopes to squeeze concessions.

Earlier this year, some American scientists had expressed shock after visiting North Korea's Yongbyon nuclear facility, saying that rows of centrifuges were designed to enrich uranium. (ANI)

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