South Korea: North Korea could launch nuclear missile tests 'at any moment'

Ahead of President Barrack Obama's visit, Soth Korean intelligence announces increased activity in North Korea's nuclear testing site

Jack Simpson
Thursday 24 April 2014 02:10
Comments

North Korea could be preparing for its fourth nuclear test in seven years, according to South Korea’s Ministry of Defence.

A spokesman from South Korea’s Ministry of Defence said that the country’s intelligence agencies have detected a lot of activity in the Punggye-ri area of the country, the place where North Korea’s nuclear test site is situated.

Speaking at a press briefing, Kim Min-Seok said: "Our military is currently detecting a lot of activity in and around the Punggye-ri nuclear test site.”

According, Min-Seok the North Koreans were at a stage at which a nuclear test could be launched “at any moment.”

The news takes on greater significance in the light of the fact that US President, Barack Obama, will visit South Korea at the end of this week.

Part of the Obama’s Asian Tour, in which he will travel to four Asian nations, the President will arrive in South Korea on Friday.

During his time in South Korea, Obama will hold talks with the South Korean President Park Geun-hye, with discussion around the increasingly unpredictable behaviour of North Korea high on his list of priorities.

While the possibilities for another nuclear test are real, Kim Min-Seok did not rule out the increased activity in Punggye-ri being merely a “deception tactic”, aimed to raise tensions ahead of the American Head of State’s visit.

Min-Seok said: "We are thinking of possibilities that the North may stage a surprise nuclear test or just pretend to stage a nuclear test."

If North Korea do decide to carry out a nuclear test, it will be the second under the leadership of Kim Jong-un, who took over from his father in 2011.

Earlier this week, the North Korean Foreign Ministry spoke out against Obama’s visit claiming that it was a "a reactionary and dangerous” move, aimed at “escalating confrontation” and “bringing dark clouds over an unstable region.”

The tension between both north and South Korea has been heightened of late, after a series of Rocket missile launches from the North Korean army resulted in an exchange of fire between both sides.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in