South Korea has detected signs North Korea may be preparing to conduct a second nuclear explosion, after a report said U.S. satellites picked up activity at the site of the country's first test last week.
The South Korean government is aware of the indications of activity, a government official who declined to be identified said today by phone in Seoul when asked about the report from Washington by ABC News.
United Nations Security Council 1718, approved on Oct. 14, demands North Korea refrain from carrying out another nuclear test and return to six-nation talks on ending its atomic weapons program. The U.S. yesterday confirmed the detonation last week was nuclear.
U.S. spy satellites picked up vehicle movements close to the site of North Korea 's nuclear test last week, a sign Kim Jong Il's government may be preparing a second underground blast, ABC reported, citing unidentified U.S. intelligence officials.
The U.S. government confirmed the explosion was nuclear yesterday and estimated the blast was the equivalent of less than a kiloton of TNT. The explosion took place near the district of P'unggye, also known as Punggyeri, in the northeast of the country, Bloomberg reports.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, on the eve of a trip to the region to try to stiffen the resolve behind UN sanctions against North Korea, said she hoped Pyongyang would not conduct a second nuclear test.
The UN Security Council unanimously adopted a sanctions resolution against North Korea on Saturday in response to Pyongyang's October 9 nuclear test.
North Korea's ambassador told the council that if the United States increased pressure on his country, Pyongyang would "continue to take physical countermeasures considering it as a declaration of war".
Rice dismissed scepticism among some in Washington about China 's commitment to tough action against its communist neighbour, the Age says.
Prepared by Alexander Timoshik
The Russian delegation to the UN denied reports about Russian nuclear forces on high alert