The US warned North Korea of "severe consequences" to the diplomatic effort in response to a South Korean legislator’s warning that Pyongyang is now fully prepared to carry out a second nuclear test. Former Deputy Chief of National Intelligence Service and current legislator Chung Hyung-Keun said his analysis of unusual personnel and construction activity at Punggye indicates a possible follow-up test to the October 9 test, but may not go ahead with it in the immediate future until it knows the outcome of an expected new round of six-nation talks. Pyongyang is also keen to discuss financial sanctions imposed by the US and allies on the cash-starved communist regime.
Officially, Seoul confirmed that its agencies had noticed activity in the western side in a tunnel of the site and agreed with Hyung-Keun’s analysis that there are no signs of an immediate second test.
The last six-nation talks and the one to one talks with the US in December 2006 failed but the US State Department held out hope that the talks could resume again January 22. Apart from its nuclear weapons activities, the world objects to Pyongyang’s proliferation of missiles to Pakistan and other West Asian nations, financial counterfeiting, and indulging in drug trade as mechanisms to raise money