IAEA: There are Signs that North Korea is Preparing a Nuclear Test
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported that there are increasing signs that North Korea is preparing to conduct its first nuclear test since 2017, DPA reported.
"We hope it doesn't come to that, but unfortunately the indications are otherwise," IAEA Director Rafael Grossi said in New York. "This is something that is of great concern to everyone, because it will be another confirmation that we are dealing with a nuclear program that is developing at full speed, and in a very worrying way."
Observers have been expressing concern for months that after North Korea's recent spate of missile tests, it is likely to conduct its first nuclear test in almost five years.
Since June, the IAEA has reported activity at the Punggye-ri test site, where North Korea conducted six nuclear test explosions between 2006 and 2017.
Yesterday, the US military warned North Korea that any nuclear attack by it against the US or its ally "will lead to the end of the regime" in Pyongyang, the Associated Press reported.
"There is no scenario in which the Kim regime can use a nuclear weapon and survive," is said in the National Security Strategy released by the Pentagon yesterday. The ministry added that it will continue to contain North Korea through an "external military presence," including through its nuclear deterrent and air and missile defense capabilities, in close coordination and interoperability with the South Korean armed forces.
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