North Korea has completed preparations for a nuclear test and is looking for the best time to carry it out, a South Korean lawmaker said on Thursday, a day before US President Joe Biden is due to arrive in Seoul.
Despite the recent outbreak of COVID-19 in North Korea, “the preparations for a nuclear test have been completed and they are just looking for the right time,” lawmaker Ha Tae-keung told reporters after being briefed by the Service. National Intelligence of Seoul.
For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or through the app.
The United States has previously said it believes there is a “genuine possibility” that North Korea could conduct a nuclear test while Biden is on his first trip as president to Asia.
Biden will arrive in Seoul on Friday night for a series of summits.
“Our intelligence reflects the genuine possibility” of nuclear-capable missile tests or a nuclear weapons test around the time of Biden’s trip, national security adviser Jake Sullivan said.
Satellite images indicate that North Korea is preparing to conduct a nuclear test, and the United States and South Korea have been warning for weeks that it could happen at any time.
North Korea announced its first cases of COVID-19 last week and is now reporting hundreds of thousands of “fever” cases daily, with analysts saying a test could help distract the regime from the outbreak.
North Korea may greet US President Biden with ‘imminent’ missile test
UN warns of ‘serious consequences’ of North Korea’s response to COVID-19
North Korea fires three ballistic missiles into the sea