North Korea could perform a fourth underground nuclear weapons test at Punggye-ri, the site of its previous test. Pyongyang appeared to be making preparations for the test, according to a South Korean government source speaking to the country’s Joong Ang Daily newpaper.
This comes on the heels of the South’s defense ministry reports that Pyongyang could perform a mid-range missile test-launch by Wednesday – also the deadline it has given to foreign diplomats to evacuate, as their safety would reportedly no longer be guaranteed by the government.
“We have detected increased activity of labor forces and vehicles at the southern tunnel of the test site in Punggye-ri, where the regime has worked on maintenance for facilities since its third nuclear test in February,” one of South’s top government officials said. He added that “the activities appear to be similar to those before the third test, so we are closely monitoring the site.”
The official went on to say that the South Korean government “were also tipped off that Pyongyang would soon carry out an additional nuclear test… but we are analyzing if it is indeed preparation for an additional test or if it is just to pressure Seoul and Washington.”
Categories: Escalation / Destabilization Conflict