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.
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."
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."
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?
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.