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Dr. Hecker Says N. Korea Can Possibly Conduct Both Plutonium & Uranium Tests in Two Weeks Updated: 2013-02-06 00:00:00 KST

Dr. Hecker Says N. Korea Can Possibly Conduct Both Plutonium & Uranium Tests in Two Weeks
A renowned U.S. scientist and North Korea expert says North Korea's highly speculated third nuclear test could be conducted using both plutonium and highly enriched uranium.

Siegfried Hecker was in Seoul on Tuesday for an international forum and our Heo Seung-ha had a chance to talk to him Pyongyang's possible next moves. Doctor Siegfried Hecker, who visited North Korea's Yongbon nuclear facilities in 2010, says Pyongyang is likely to conduct its third nuclear test in the next two weeks.

And the test could be a simultaneous one, of both the plutonium and highly enriched uranium.

"If you are asked what will they test? Will it be Highly Enriched Uranium or plutonium?

Maybe it's both, simultaneous. What's the advantage of doing two? Its political advantage.

You essentially get two for the condemnation for one."

At an international symposium held in Seoul Tuesday, under the theme of 'Northeast Asia under New Leadership", Dr. Hecker said if the test succeeds, Pyongyang would even be able to miniaturize a nuclear weapon.

"If they do develop that capability, it will give them more confidence that they have a credible deterrent. So in other words, it would give them more space. They might become more provocative."

He went on to say that the test would have negative implications on Washington and Seoul's diplomatic policies towards the reclusive regime.

"We have to focus on more than just the nuclear issue. United States tends to focus mostly on the nuclear issue. However, if they test again, then the focus will be right back on the nuclear issue, and so it will be very difficult to implement any policies."

The renowned nuclear expert also noted, that although there is no evidence proving the North has cooperated with Iran on nuclear capabilities, he thinks it's quite possible.

He added that the worst outcome would occur if the North decides to share its information on nuclear capabilites with Iran, which is also its partner for developing missiles.

Heo Seung-ha, Arirang News.
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