North Korea has made repairs to its nuclear testing facility, allowing the reclusive country to test a third nuclear device in as little as two weeks if it so chooses, according to the Associated Press.
Washington, South Korea, and the UN are anticipating a possible nuclear test if North Korea is punished for its successful long-range rocket launch, which the UN considers cover for a ballistic missile test, in early December, the AP reports.
Their worries fit a pattern: nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009 followed weeks after the country received punishment by the UN Security Council for long-range rocket tests.
But a nuclear test may be limited to how much it's willing to burn bridges with its only major ally: China. North Korea's dependence on China is growing, accounting for 70% of the country's trade, according to the AP.
The last Stalinist state on earth currently holds enough plutonium for four to eight bombs and would need at least one more test before it could miniaturize warheads, according to a Los Alamos and Stanford University paper.Via the Associated Press.