THREATS

N. Korea in Final Uranium Stage?

Could North Korea's recent diplomatic gestures be merely a distraction from larger, sinister goals? Defying international pressure to abandon its nuclear program, the communist country has allegedly entered the final stage of uranium enrichment—a step toward producing nuclear weapons—state media reported. "Uranium-enrichment tests have been successfully carried out and that process is in the concluding stage," South Korea's Yonhap news agency quoted the North as saying. In a confusing twist, North Korea's KCNA news agency has also reported that Pyongyang is now ready "for both sanctions and dialogue.”