North Korea could perform its third nuclear test to show country’s military prowess after the humiliation it had to face because of its highly controversial rocket failure.
According to a senior South Korean defense ministry official there is a possibility that North Korea might embark on nuclear test or another rocket launch after the North's satellite plans fizzed soon after the take off.
He added that military provocation from North could be on the cards too because of the humiliation it had to face on the 100th birth anniversary of the late leader Kim Il Sung.
"The possibility of an additional long-range rocket launch or a nuclear test, as well as a military provocation to strengthen internal solidarity is very high,"
Impending Nuclear Test
According to experts satellite images show signs of deep tunneling and other preparations in Punggye-ri site for nuclear test. Punggye-ri is the same area where nuclear tests have been conducted by North Korea in the past as well.
A report compiled by South Korean intelligence officials read, "North Korea is covertly preparing for a third nuclear test, which would be another grave provocation. North Korea is digging up a new underground tunnel at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site, in addition to its existing two underground tunnels, and it has been confirmed that the excavation works are in the final stages."
Marcus Noland, a North Korea expert at the nonpartisan Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington said, “A nuclear test next month is a virtual certainty”.
Importance of the launch
The launch was very significant for Kim Jong-Un who recently took over the helm as head of the state. The young leader in his late 20's has been criticized for his decision to approve a rocket launch which didn't yield anything. The rocket failure costs North Korea around $1 Billion which could have been used for constructive purposes in the nation which has been facing famine and international sanctions.
Lee Jong-won whi is a professor at Waseda University in Tokyo said "This is the first crisis for the new leader that has just taken over,"
"It is inevitable that they will look to find who is responsible for the failure, and I wonder what the treatment will be for those in the military and the hard-line officers who have pressed for the launch." he added.
US president Barak Obama condemned the North Korea's decision to invest a substantial amount of resources in a rocket, which didn't even work, at a time when the citizens of the country are literally starving. Obama wishes to further isolate North Korea with the assistance of international community.
“Obviously any opportunity for us to provide them food aid was contingent on them abiding by international rules and international norms. So we will continue to keep the pressure on them, and they'll continue to isolate themselves until they take a different path.” said President Obama.