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North Korea Prepares to Test Another Nuke

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

South Korea-North Korea: Outgoing President Lee told the press that in late 2009 Kim Chong-il requested a third summit between the leaders of North and South Korea without conditions, such as demands for food grains. The invitation was transmitted through Chinese Premier Wen Jia-bao and some discussions were held in Singapore.

South Korea was prepared to accept and began discussing views about the venue. North Korea wanted it in Pyongyang. The talks broke down when the North demanded compensation for holding the summit.

Comment: The reasons Kim Chong-il wanted a summit remain unknown. However, President Lee's description of Kim Chong-il's invitation and the exchange via the Chinese is vintage Kim Chong-il. His tactic was always to re-negotiate the terms after a deal was accepted in principle to determine whether better terms could be obtained. Kim Jung Un's style is entirely different.

North Korea-China: According to an unidentified source who spoke with Reuters, North Korea has informed China that it will conduct additional nuclear tests and missile launches this year. Preparations for a fourth nuclear test are said to be completed already.

The source said the tests will be conducted unless the US agrees to talks about signing a final peace treaty and abandons its plans to overthrow the North Korean regime.

Comment: North Korea prepared two tunnels for use in testing prior to the 12 February detonation. It used one on the 12th. That provides some prima facie support for the information provided by the source.

The bluntness of the new leadership's style is apparent in the message.

Pakistan: Ethnic Hazara Shiites called on the Pakistan Army to take control of Quetta after 85 Shiites were murdered in a bomb attack at a bazaar over the weekend. The Shiites are threatening to not bury their dead and to march to Islamabad until security is improved.

A vicious Sunni group, Lashkar e Jhangvi (LeJ) claimed responsibility for the massacre. LeJ was a creation of Pakistani intelligence, one of several groups it formed to execute terror attacks against India.

Comment: This is the second mass murder this year. About 100 Hazara Shiites were killed in almost the same location in January.

The Islamabad authorities are unwilling, as most Shiites believe, or unable to provide security for minorities.

End of NightWatch ###

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