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U.S., China Warns N. Korea of Further Provocations Amid Nuclear Test Speculations Updated: 2012-04-26 12:00:00 KST

U.S., China Warns N. Korea of Further Provocations Amid Nuclear Test Speculations
We begin with more speculation of North Korea's third nuclear test.
Officials from the U.S., China and Russia say the communist regime may set off their test at any time.
Still the U.S. hopes to dissuade North Korea from staging further provocations while China has also publicly stated it would rather the North not unsettle security in the region.
Our national defense correspondent Kim Han-ul has this report.
Global powers are weighing in on the possibility of a North Korean nuclear test with predictions that it's likely to happen sooner rather than later.
A Russian security official told Japan's Kyodo news agency Wednesday that North Korea could conduct a nuclear test within a week. Kyodo quoted the Russian official saying he has concrete information to support his belief that the nuclear test is imminent, but he declined to elaborate.
Meanwhile, during his visit to Brazil, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta again chastised North Korea for its recent attempted rocket launch and warned the regime not to engage in further provocations be it nuclear testing or any other military action.

[INTERVIEW : Leon Panetta, U.S. Secretary of Defense] ''It still represented a dangerous provocation that was condemned by the United States and condemned by the world. And we strongly urge North Korea not to engage in further provocations.''

A high-level Chinese official issued a rare public warning on Wednesday indirectly referring to the rampant speculation about a possible North Korean nuclear test.


[INTERVIEW : Cui Tiankai, Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs] ''China is opposed to any actions damaging peace and security on the Korean peninsular and North East Asia, since such acts can also harm China's national security.''

Washington welcomed China's statement.

[INTERVIEW : Victoria Nuland, Spokesperson,U.S. Dept. of State,] ''We have been working closely with the Chinese, encouraging them to use all of the political and other kinds of leverage they have with the DPRK to encourage it to change course.''

However, South Korea's Defense Ministry is keeping its public statements low-key and said it cannot comment on the predictions of a possible nuclear testing date but added that the South Korean military is keeping a close watch on developments in North Korea.
Kim Han-ul, Arirang News.

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