Report: North Korea preparing for 6th nuclear weapon test

According to South Korean intelligence officials, North Korea appears to be preparing for another nuclear weapon test. CNN reported that Seoul's National Intelligence Service detected movements at the Punggye-ri nuclear site that indicate preparations for an upcoming test.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

South Korean intelligence officials believe that Pyongyang may be preparing to carry out a nuclear weapon test, CNN reported Monday. The officials informed South Korean lawmakers of their suspicions during a private meeting.

The National Intelligence Service officials said that they have detected signs indicating that North Korea is planning another test at the Punggye-ri site. The Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site, located in Kilju County, is the North's only nuclear testing facility.    

The last North Korean nuclear test was conducted in September 2016. Since 2006, the pariah state has conducted five nuclear weapon tests, ignoring UN resolutions and international bans regarding the matter.

Over the weekend, the US military confirmed that Pyongyang tested three short-range missiles on Friday night. At first, it was assumed that the tests failed but several hours later, the US military issued a statement announcing that the tests were successful.

The triple missile test took place as the US and South Korea conduct their annual Ulchi-Freedom Guardian military drill. Australia decided to participate in the exercise, an act that was described by a North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson as suicidal, according to the North's state-run KCNA news agency. The spokesperson stated that Australia should be focused on resolving its internal problems instead of pairing up with the US.

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