Pyongyang nuke test could help US demystify advancement of country's nuclear programme

New York, Jan 31 (ANI): Inside the American intelligence community, some officials are quietly hoping that North Korea's nuclear test takes place, as it could give them their first real view in years into whether the isolated nation has made significant progress toward a weapon that could threaten the US or its allies, a report has said.

Since the North's last test, in 2009, during US President Barack Obama's first months in office, America has lost much of its visibility into what a former senior intelligence official says is on the cusp of becoming a "runaway program."

Inspectors have been ejected from the country, and new facilities to make nuclear fuel have appeared.

Now the hope is that an underground blast will answer several mysteries, the New York Times reports.

According to the paper, Michael Green, a senior director for Asian affairs in the National Security Council under President George W. Bush said that the test 'could cross a threshold and yield data we haven't had'.

He said that people 'know a lot about North Korea's programs, but not the most important part: how far along are they?'

The test could show, he said, "whether they can build a bomb that can approach Hiroshima or Nagasaki levels, and that would tell us a lot about how far they have proceeded on weaponization." (ANI)

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