A senior US researcher says it is highly likely Pyeongyang will test a highly enriched uranium bomb for its third nuclear test and that Kim Jong-il will never give up nuclear weapons.
At the 2011 Shangri-la Dialogue in Singapore Sunday, Jonathan Pollack of the Brookings Institute wrote in a report that North Korea has a well planned nuclear program that the leadership deems a vital component of the regime's survival.
Saying neither the US nor China can force North Korea to give up nuclear weapons, Pollack added that Pyeongyang's dependence on the weapons began with the normalization of Seoul-Beijing relations.
From the American side, US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, also at the annual dialogue, said Washington does not intend to force a change in leadership or cause trouble for Pyeongyang.
[Interview : Robert Gates, US Defense Secretary] "The United States has no interest in regime change. We have no interest in destabilizing North Korea. What we do have an interest in, is developing a relationship where North Korea relationships using, we hope, the group of six to get the North Koreans to live by the same rules of international engagement that anybody else does."
And China's defense minister said. as Pyeongyang's benefactor, Beijing is doing its best to rein in North Korea, even behind closed curtains, unknown to the others in the international community.
[Interview : Liang Guanglie, Chinese Defense Minister] "The efforts we are putting into North Korea are a lot more than you can imagine, including through the working level, the six-party talks, foreign ministry, China's leaders and various channels. We have to persuade them to not do anything risky."
[Reporter : Kang Seok-ho
firstname.lastname@example.org] The Chinese minister also added that China's economic development will not pose a threat to the peace in Asia and that Beijing is also a victim of recent cyber attacks, rather than a culprit. Kang Seok-ho, Arirang News.