Reuters reports that North Korea may carry out a third atomic test as a sort of bellicose welcoming ceremony for the heir apparent. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said that six-party talks next month could be ‘an historic opportunity to change (the policy of) confrontation to interaction and cooperation’. Turkey is reportedly holding exclusive talks with Japan to construct its second nuclear power plant after failing to agree an accord with South Korea. Tatneft has announced it will drill a new exploratory well in Syria. The price of oil has increased as reports of a cold snap in Europe circulate; apparently the harsh weather conditions have also upped Europe’s demand for natural gas. Fear of disruptions to European oil supply were raised after a fire on a section of the Druzhba pipeline section in Belarus reduced Russian flows to Poland and Germany. Russia is apparently confident that deliveries will be on schedule by the end of the year, despite the setback.