Satellite images indicate North Korea may be preparing a second nuclear test, officials said, as the US secretary of state headed to Asia on Wednesday with warnings that the North's behavior could spark a regional atomic arms race.
Condoleeza Rice was to arrive Wednesday in Japan before heading Thursday to South Korea and later China in efforts to persuade Asian allies and Russia to intensify North Korea's isolation by enforcing sanctions that the UN Security Council approved Saturday.
The defiant communist regime held huge rallies Tuesday and proclaimed that UN sanctions amount to a declaration of war, while China - the North's longtime ally and biggest trading partner, warned Pyongyang not to aggravate tensions.
The UN has condemned the North's Oct. 9 atomic blast, and UN nuclear envoy Christopher Hill told reporters in Seoul on Tuesday that another nuclear explosion would be "a very belligerent answer" to the world.
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