Monitoring group says Pyongyang may launch its sixth nuclear test, Kim oversees a special forces operation.
Washington: North Korea is ready to launch a nuclear test at its Punggye-ri nuclear test site, the 38 North monitoring group reported.
The 38 North analysis group described the test site as “primed and ready”. “Commercial satellite imagery of North Korea’s Punggyeri nuclear test site from April 12 shows continued activity around the North portal, new activity in the main administrative area, and a few personnel around the site’s command centre,” the North Korea-related analysis website said.
Meanwhile, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has overseen a special forces commando operation, state media said on Thursday. The North’s state-run Korean Central News Agency said Mr Kim watched from an observation post as special forces dropped from light transport planes “like hail” and “mercilessly blew up enemy targets”.
The North has said it is ready for “war” with the US, while speculation is mounting that it might conduct a nuclear or missile test to mark the 105th birthday anniversary of founder Kim Il-Sung on Saturday.
The Voice of America said on Wednesday night, quoting US government and other sources, that North Korea “has apparently placed a nuclear device in a tunnel and it could be detonated on Saturday”.
President Donald Trump’s administration has been forceful in its warnings to Pyongyang that leave military options “on the table”. The threat carries extra weight after the US strike on a Syrian air base last week.
“We are sending an armada. Very powerful,” Mr Trump has said, referring to a strike group heading to the Korean peninsula in a show of force against Kim.