The military forces of the U.S. and South Korea launched a military exercise in connection with North Korea's intention to conduct its third one nuclear test, reports Australian.com.
"According to our observations, North Korea has been preparing for a nuclear test, and it the time when the test starts is just a matter of making a political decision", representative of the Ministry of Defense of South Korea, Kim Min-Sec, said on Monday.
The same day, the U.S. and South Korea began a three-day joint exercise on the east coast of the Korean Peninsula. The exercise included fire training, sea battles, as well as identification of submarines. Local media reported that the activities had been planned before the DPRK's announcement of the upcoming tests.
On January 22, the UN Security Council announced the expansion of sanctions against North Korea. A few days later, Pyongyang announced an intention to conduct another nuclear research, adding that the research would be directed against the United States.
"We do not deny the fact that various satellites that we will launch, the launches of long-range missiles that we will carry out, and the nuclear tests that we will conduct will be directed against the United States," the Central News Agency of the country said.
The previous nuclear tests were conducted in the country in 2006 and 2009. On Monday, there were suspicions that North Korea was preparing two explosions. It is not clear yet when the nuclear tests are going to be held, but experts say that they will take place on February 16th, to celebrate the birthday of Kim Jong Il.
Several years ago, a prominent Indonesian businessman who now resides in Canada, insisted on meeting me in a back room of one of Jakarta's posh restaurants. An avid reader of mine, he 'had something urgent to tell me', after finding out that our paths were going to be crossing in this destroyed and hopelessly polluted Indonesian capital.