Demonstrators in South Korea have been protesting after the North announced an imminent nuclear test. Pyongyang’s move has been internationally condemned. The US has called the potential test “a provocative act and an unacceptable threat to world peace”. Seoul’s political leadership has expressed grave concerns and warned that they might abandon a long term policy of pursuing engagement with the north if the tests go ahead.
The country’s chief security adviser said the north’s announcement could be intended as a negotiating position or at the same time the test could actually be carried out. North Korea has used diplomatic crises in the past to get its voice heard, ratcheting up tensions even further on this, the cold war’s last frontier. Pyongyang has not given a date for the test which was announced on state-run TV.
Last July, North Korea tested several ballistic missiles causing an international outcry.