N. Korea again rules out nuclear test
North Korea said Saturday that it has no immediate plan to conduct a third nuclear test.
The North's latest announcement made through a statement issued by its foreign ministry spokesman came amid growing international concern about its possible nuclear test following April's failed rocket launch.
"(South Korea) seeks to rattle the nerves of the DPRK (North Korea) in a bid to cause it to conduct a nuclear test, though such a thing is not under plan at present, and take such strong retaliatory measures as Yeonpyeong Island shelling incident," the statement said.
"This scenario is aimed to strain the relations between the DPRK and the countries around it and create an atmosphere of putting pressure and sanctions on it," the statement said, accusing the South of "defaming" the celebrations of the Day of the Sun, the anniversary of the Korean Children's Union and other auspicious events in the North.
In a similar statement issued on May 22, Pyongyang ruled out an imminent nuclear weapon test, but vowed to expand and bolster its nuclear deterrence as well as its sovereign right to launch satellites, while slamming the Group of Eight nations' condemnation of its failed long-range rocket launch in April.
There has been speculation that the communist country may carry out a nuclear test to try to compensate for April's botched rocket launch. The long-range rocket, which Pyongyang claimed was meant to put a satellite into orbit, exploded soon after lift-off on April 13. South Korea and the U.S. said it was a cover for testing the North's ballistic missile technology.
The North has a track record of carrying out a nuclear test following a long-range missile test. In 2006, the North conducted its first nuclear test, three months after the test-firing of its long-range Taepodong-2 rocket. The second nuclear test in 2009 came just one month after a long-range rocket launch. (Yonhap)