North Korea ready for third nuclear test: Reports

      North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has reportedly instructed party and military leaders to start preparing for a third nuclear test with the use of enriched uranium. Fox News quoted Kim as saying that the "emphasized the importance of improvement of nuclear technologies with the aim of attracting the U.S. to direct bilateral talks." According to sources, the meeting between Kim and military leaders and high-ranking officials of North Korean regime took place on August 26 in the port city of Wonsan. Sources added that the date of nuclear test could be September 20, which marks the official end of the "150-Day Battle.” Another date being speculated as the possible test date is October 10 when the Labor Party of Korea was found. Earlier, U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley had said that Washington was preparing to accept Pyongyang's offer for one-on-one talks as part of efforts to resume the six-nation negotiations. But he insisted there has been no shift from previous U.S. statements that Washington would only meet with North Korea as part of the six-nation process. In April, Pyongyang had pulled out of the talks with the U.S., South Korea, China, Russia and Japan in protest of international criticism of what it claimed to be a satellite launch, but which other nations suspected was a test of long-range missile technology. Subsequently, North Korea conducted a nuclear test that drew UN sanctions.

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