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N. Korean leader tours military science exhibition

SEOUL, April 30 — North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has toured an exhibition of military science and technology amid concerns Pyongyang may carry out a nuclear test following its failed rocket launch.

Kim has praised military scientists and technicians for conducting their scientific research to step up the military's combat preparations, the North's official Korean Central News Agency reported late Sunday.

Kim gave instructions for further developing science and technology within the Korean People's Army.

"He expressed expectation and conviction that the current exhibition would mark an important occasion in making a positive contribution to putting spurs to the development of science and technology of the KPA, rounding off the combat preparations," the KCNA said in an English-language dispatch.

The inspection came days after North Korea threatened to launch special military actions to reduce Seoul to ashes in minutes over South Korea's alleged insult to the North's dignity.

Separately, Kim enjoyed a magic performance by the military, according to the KCNA.

Kim's latest tours came amid speculation that North Korea could conduct a third nuclear test, which some analysts have said is aimed at compensating for its botched rocket launch.

The North's rocket exploded soon after lift-off on April 13 and the U.N. Security Council swiftly condemned the launch.

In 2006, the North conducted its first nuclear test, three months after the test-firing of its long-range Taepodong-2 rocket. The second nuclear test in 2009 came just one month after another long-range rocket launch. (PNA/Yonhap)


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