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Australia fears 2nd N. Korean nuke test, warns it'd be 'foolish'.

SYDNEY, Oct. 11 Kyodo

Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said Wednesday his government has learned there is a ''real possibility'' that North Korea may conduct another nuclear test, which he warned would be ''foolish'' and ''completely counterproductive'' for Pyongyang.

''If North Korea goes ahead with further tests...this is a regime that is really out of control,'' Downer told reporters in Canberra.

While there was some indication 'a day or so ago'' that North Korea might not proceed with further nuclear tests following the one it announced on Monday, Downer said Australia has since received information from undisclosed sources there is now ''a real possibility that it will, and we're obviously concerned about that.''

''I think it would be completely counterproductive from North Korea's point of view. Here you have the Security Council meeting and considering a sanctions regime against North Korea and it will just harden the resolve of the Security Council,'' he said.

Downer's remarks came as North Korea's No. 2 leader Kim Yong Nam said in a meeting with Kyodo News in Pyongyang that whether or not his government conducts another nuclear test depends on the policy taken by the United States.

''It is a highly provocative thing to do, but to do it while the Security Council is meeting and considering sanctions in relation to nuclear's a very foolish thing to do politically and, of course, a very frightening thing for people in North Asia,'' he said.

Downer said he has been heartened by what he has heard from China, North Korea's neighbor and traditional ally, since Monday's nuclear test.

''The Chinese Government has been treated abominably by the North Koreans and they are showing a determination to play their part in supporting some kind of a sanctions regime,'' he said. ''If there is a further test, I think that they will be all the more encouraged to support a strong sanctions regime against North Korea.''
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Publication:Asian Political News
Date:Oct 16, 2006
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