Parsing North Korea's Nuclear Game

Pyongyang could be planning a blast or mounting an elaborate hoax

In the late 1990s, U.S. spy satellites crisscrossing North Korea picked up alarming evidence that suggested the rogue regime might be excavating a secret underground nuclear test facility. North Korea agreed to allow U.S. officials to visit the site--after Washington ponied up some extra food aid--but when the inspectors arrived, all they found was an empty hole. With that incident in mind, U.S. officials last week cast a skeptical eye on new satellite images of the North Koreans hard at work on another big dig. Traffic around the mouth of a tunnel has intensified recently, and heavy equipment has been spotted...

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