U.S. Defense officials: Satellite photos suggest second North Korea nuclear test

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A senior official with the United States Department of Defense has expressed concern over activity being monitored at two sites within North Korea, saying that satellite imagery suggested preparations for a second nuclear test. Japan and South Korea have also indicated that they have intelligence indicating possible preparations for another test.

A senior South Korean official, however, told journalists that South Korea has not yet confirmed any imminent signs of a second test and said that a second test is unlikely to occur immediately.

The U.S. official spoke to the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity, reportedly because the matter involved intelligence gathering.

The satellite photos show that ground at one site is being prepared for construction, while the other site already shows signs of construction activity, according to the U.S. defense official. The official said that such activity suggested preparation for a second nuclear weapons test.