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Second N Korea N-test possible: US general

US Army Gen BB Bell says a second test is possible, though he doesn't cite any specific intelligence that another test is imminent.

india Updated: Oct 30, 2006 12:05 IST

North Korea fired five short-range missiles during military training last week, a South Korean newspaper reported on Monday, as the top US general in the South warned that Pyongyang could conduct a second nuclear test.

The North fired the ground-to-air and air-to-ground missiles, with ranges from 10 to 50 kms, as part of an annual training session, the newspaper Chosun Ilbo said, citing an unidentified government official.

The North fired a series of longer-range missiles in July, including an intercontinental ballistic missile that many believe could potentially hit the United States.

The report comes amid speculation that North Korea may be preparing to conduct a second nuclear test following its first on Oct 9.

US Army Gen BB Bell said at a news conference on Monday that a second test is possible, though he didn't cite any specific intelligence that another test was imminent.

"I can only surmise that since they tested one, we would see at some time in the future yet another test of a nuclear device," Bell said, adding that missiles and other weapons also could be tested.

"I think we can expect future tests as part of their programme to develop these kinds of very provocative weapons," he said.

South Korean media reported yesterday that authorities had detected the movement of trucks and soldiers at a suspected test site in northeastern North Korea.

Bell was firm that the US and South Korean allied forces could deter aggression from the North and defeat any possible attack.

First Published: Oct 30, 2006 12:05 IST