Reuters is reporting that North Korea has "almost completed" preparations for a nuclear weapons test and that the planned explosion will come soon. The news agency says the same "senior official" who is the source of this report correctly predicted the country's first nuclear test just days before it took place in 2006. It would be the third time the country has set off a nuclear bomb, and it may be the first to use enriched uranium as the source.
If the report is true, it's yet another provocation meant to solidify the authority of new leader Kim Jong-Un and save face following the embarrassing failure of a rocket launch earlier this month. Just yesterday, the military threatened to turn South Korea to ashes and called their president a rat after he suggested they give up their military ambitions so it could feed its people instead. The North has yet to follow through on any of its threats, but a new nuclear test would certainly earn new condemnations from the United States and other nations, possibly even drawing China back into the debate over containing North Korea's increasingly aggressive posturing.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.