North Korea’s nuclear test site has been resumed with North Korea’s nuclear test site US-based analysts said, as tensions remain high over fears of a sixth atomic test by the reclusive state.
Monitoring group 38 North said that workers pumping out water at a tunnel believed to have been prepared for an upcoming nuclear test appear to be shown on Images of the Punggye-ri site captured on April 25 .
A number of personnel throughout the facility were also noted.
Researchers from the monitoring group at John Hopkins University’s US-Korea Institute said that “It is unclear if this activity indicates that a nuclear test has been cancelled, the facility is in stand-by mode or that a test is imminent.”
It has also been observed that the worker playing volleyball at the guard barracks and two other areas at the site in satellite pictures taken on April 19 and 21.
The latest images by 38 North were said to be “unusual and almost assuredly a component of an overall North Korean deception and propaganda effort” and the result of media reporting on earlier images showing renewed activity at the site, which consists of a complex of tunnels and testing infrastructure in the mountains in the northeast of the country.
Five nuclear tests in the past 11 years has been carried out by North Korea and a progress on building a missile capable of delivering a warhead to the continental US is widely believed to be made.
On Monday, it’s foreign minister warned that a nuclear tests “at any time and at any location” set by its leadership are prepared to be carried out.
The state-run KCNA news agency said that unless the US scraps its hostile policies North Korea will continue bolstering its “pre-emptive nuclear attack.”
The announcement came as US officials said an initial operating capability to defend against North Korean missiles had been reached by the US military’s missile defence system in South Korea
Punggye-ri was “primed and ready” to conduct a test, amid mounting speculation that Pyongyang would act to coincide with major anniversaries was said last month by 38 North.
As Us President Donald Trump has said, he would be “honoured” to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un under the right conditions, dialling down earlier threats of military action.
The press was told by The White House that conditions were not right yet.
Options are now being exploded by Washington to ramp up pressure on North Korea, in discussion with China on possible sanctions said by the diplomats.
The Security Council in the past 11 years has imposed six sets of sanctions on Pyongyang, imposing a cap on coal exports among other measures in November included