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ABC News reports that North Korea appears to be preparing for a nuclear test. (Hat tip: LGF readers.)

Aug. 17, 2006 — There is new evidence that North Korea may be preparing for an underground test of a nuclear bomb, U.S. officials tell ABC News.

“It is the view of the intelligence community that a test is real possibility,” says a senior State Department official.

A senior military official tells ABC News that a U.S. intelligence agency has recently observed “suspicious vehicle movement” at a suspected North Korean test site.

The activity includes the unloading of large reels of cable outside an underground facility called Pungyee-yok in northeast North Korea. Cables can be used in nuclear testing to connect an underground test site to outside observation equipment. The intelligence was brought to the attention of the White House last week.

Even before this most recent intelligence, there has been growing concern within the U.S. government that North Korea is moving toward a nuclear test. North Korea is believed to have enough nuclear material to build as many as a dozen nuclear bombs, but it has never tested one. A successful test would remove any doubt that North Korea is a nuclear power.

“What does he have to lose?” asked one senior military official, referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.

Tags: N.Korea