World

2:04pm

Wed April 11, 2012
Asia

N. Korea May Stage Nuclear Test After Rocket Launch

Originally published on Wed April 11, 2012 6:51 pm

A concert in Pyongyang in February 2012 commemorates the birthday of North Korea's late leader, Kim Jong Il. The backdrop shows a North Korean rocket that was launched in April 2009 — and was followed a month later by a nuclear test.
Kyodo/Landov

As North Korea reaches the final stage of preparations for a long-range rocket launch, concern is growing that it is in the early stages of preparing its underground test site for another nuclear explosion.

Pyongyang established the pattern three years ago when it tested a similar rocket and then followed it a month later with a nuclear test.

This time around, there may be a more urgent need to test a nuclear device. The bomb is very likely the result of a significant expansion of North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

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12:34pm

Wed April 11, 2012
The Two-Way

North Korea Thumbs Nose At World; Fuels Rocket For Launch

North Korea technicians watch live images of the rocket fueling at the satellite control room of the space center near Pyongyang.
PEDRO UGARTE AFP/Getty Images

North Korea continues to pump fuel into a rocket that's scheduled to lift off into space in a few days, purportedly carrying a weather satellite. The Kwangmyongsong-3, according to the government-controlled North Korean news agency, "is an earth observation satellite for collecting data essential for the country's economic development."

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12:08pm

Wed April 11, 2012
The Two-Way

Panetta Reassures Afghans On U.S. Training Role, Possibly Beyond 2014

Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta, far right, escorts Afghanistan's Minister of National Defense Abdul Rahim Wardak (center) and Minister of Interior Gen. Bismillah Khan Mohammadi (left) in the Pentagon.
Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo OASD/PA

The bulk of the U.S. military force in Afghanistan is slated to leave the country by 2014. But the Pentagon is willing to keep some Americans there to train Afghan forces, according to a report by NPR's Tom Bowman.

Here's Tom's report for NPR's Newscast:

"Afghan Defense Minister Adbul Rahim Wardak says his country is looking for an enduring long-term relationship with the United States. And part of the relationship centers on training and equipping Afghan soldiers and police."

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11:56am

Wed April 11, 2012
Asia

North Korea To Launch Rocket, And A New Power Play

Originally published on Wed April 11, 2012 6:51 pm

A North Korean soldier stands guard in front of the Unha-3 (Milky Way 3) rocket on a launchpad at the West Sea Satellite Launch Site, during a guided media tour by North Korean authorities northwest of Pyongyang on April 8.
Bobby Yip Reuters/Landov

As North Korea gears up to launch a long-range rocket, political changes are afoot, too: Pyongyang has consolidated its succession process, giving a new title to its new leader, Kim Jong Un, who came to power in December after his father's death.

The rocket launch, which could come as early as Thursday in North Korea, has been condemned by the international community as being in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions. So why now?

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10:00am

Wed April 11, 2012
World

Fears Of Organ Failure For Hunger Strike Prisoner

In Bahrain, demonstrators are demanding the release of imprisoned activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja. He has been on hunger strike for more than two months and his family now fears for his health. Guest host Viviana Hurtado speaks with his daughter, Zainab al-Khawaja and Middle East expert, Joshua Landis.

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