July 27, 2010 09:02
A North Korean mouthpiece in Japan on Monday issued a thinly veiled threat of another nuclear test by the North, which is peeved by a massive South Korea-U.S. naval exercise in the East Sea.
The Choson Sinbo newspaper said the North "regards a nuclear test as an essential procedural requirement to gain a nuclear deterrent. In the past, it has not hesitated to conduct a test if it decided it needed one."
The newspaper recalled that the North pledged to "step up nuclear deterrence."
"Less than a year in power, the Obama administration led [North] Korea to conduct a nuclear test. A similar thing can happen if it misjudges the situation in the wake of its diplomatic failure over the Cheonan incident," the paper warned, referring to Washington and Seoul's failed attempt to persuade the UN Security Council to condemn the North for the sinking.
The North conducted the first nuclear test in October 2006 and the second in May 2009. U.S. President Barack Obama came to power in late 2008.
"Pyongyang will step up its nuclear deterrence if the U.S. adheres to these stick-and-carrot tactics," said the daily, which is published in Tokyo by a loyalist group in close coordination with Pyongyang. "It won't hesitate to take powerful deterrent action for the sake of self-defense if it decides that talks to find out the truth about the Cheonan incident have failed and that sanctions and military provocations by hostile nations have crossed the red line."
It ended with the customary call for "dialogue and negotiations to reduce tension."
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