North Korea is preparing a new nuclear test, according to South Korean lawmaker based on information from the country’s intelligence agency as reported by Yonhap News Agency.
North Korea performed nuclear tests in 2006, 2009, and 2013, which were condemned by the international community and prompted the United Nations to impose sanctions against it.
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Lee Chui-woo, a lawmaker, affiliated with South Korea’s ruling Saenuri Party revealed the supposed preparations of North Korea for a nuclear test after a briefing with the National Intelligence Service. According to the spy agency, Pyongyang’s decision was due to the confrontational policies of the United States and its allies.
North Korea nuclear test not imminent
South Korea’s National Intelligence Agency emphasized that North Korea’s plan for a new nuclear test was not imminent. The spy agency did not provide any detail as what to what type of nuclear test Pyongyang is planning to do.
Mr. Lee noted that North Korea did not launch a rocket during the 70th anniversary of the Worker’s Party earlier this month due to international pressure particularly from China. Pyongyang also suffered technical problems in its preparations.
Political observers believed that Pyongyang could worsen its relationship with Beijing if it would push through with its plan to conduct a new nuclear test.
Last month, Zhang Liangui, a North Korea expert with the research and training institute of the Communist Party said, “China will strongly oppose ( a nuclear test or launch) and will be sure to implement United Nations resolutions more resolutely.”
North Korea claimed that it could miniaturize nuclear warheads. Mr. Lee believed that it hadn’t mastered its miniaturization technology based on information from South Korea’s spy agency.
North Korea expected to launch rockets to set up multiple satellites
There are still speculations that North Korea will launch long-range rockets over the next few months as part of its project to set up its multiple satellites into the outer space. Pyongyang wants to become a major space power, according to its scientists.
According to the North Korean scientists, their primary goal is to conduct a peaceful space exploration. They were outraged by the ongoing speculations that they are operating a secret program to develop a ballistic missile.
South Korea and the United States believe that North Korea’s planned satellite launch is a strategy to cover its tests for its ballistic missile technology, is prohibited under UN resolutions.
Kim Gun Song, one of the senior directors of North Korea’s National Aeronautical Development Association (NADA) recently stated that they are committed ti catching up in the space race although the country have economic problems. According to him, “We are developing satellite technology. We are exploring outer space, not because we are in a very good position, well off economically. Even today we are tightening our belts to survive and to improve. We will continue, regardless of what people say.”
United States is ready to deter North Korea’s attack
Last month, Pyongyang revealed that it restarted its atomic bomb fuel production plants. Its revelation ignited speculations that it might conduct a fourth nuclear test. It is still uncertain whether the country’s scientists already developed a means to deliver nuclear weapons on long-range missiles.
During the 70th anniversary of the Worker’s Party, Pres. Kim Jong-un reiterated his threat that he was prepared to engage in war with the United States if necessary.
“Our party dauntlessly declares that our revolutionary armed forces are capable of fighting any kind of war provoked by the US, and we are ready to protect our people and the blue sky of our motherland,” said Kim Jong-un.
U.S. Intelligence agency recently warned Washington that North Korea has the capability to hit the country with a nuclear bomb. Defense Commander, Admiral Bill Gortwey sated that his team is currently evaluating the efficiency of Pyongyang’s weapons systems.
According to Admiral Gortrwey, “We assess that they have the capability to reach the home land with a nuclear weapon from a rocket” He added, “We are ready for him [referring to Kim Jong-un], and we are ready 24 hours a day, if he should be dumb enough to shoot something on the US.”
Meanwhile, Washington’s chief negotiator to Pyongyang, Ambassador Sung Kim said the United States is committed to using “full range of tools—deterrence, diplomacy, and pressure” so that North Korea will realize that it will not achieve security or prosperity while pursuing nuclear weapons, abusing its people, and flouting its longstanding obligations and commitments.