North Korea has tested a detonator in preparation for the seventh nuclear test in its history, South Korean officials said.
“We detected an operational test of a detonator in preparation for North Korea’s seventh nuclear test. The probability of a nuclear test in the next one to two days is low, but it can be done after that,” said the director of the Office of National Security South Korea Kim Tae Hyo said today.
The South Korean official said the detonator test took place far from Pyongyang’s Punggye-ri nuclear facility, where Pyongyang has tested nuclear weapons in the past, without specifying the location. A detonator is a device that uses powerful explosives to trigger the fission reaction in a nuclear bomb.
North Korea did not comment on the report.
North Korea fired three consecutive ballistic missiles on the morning of May 25, one of which was suspected to be an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the news came just hours after U.S. President Joe Biden finished his job. Korea and Japan. South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) said last week that preparations for a nuclear test had been completed and North Korea was waiting for the right moment.
Tensions on the Korean peninsula have escalated over the past few weeks. Since the beginning of the year, Pyongyang has stepped up its activities at key nuclear and missile test sites and has test-fired multiple types of missiles, including last month’s Hwasong-17 intercontinental missile.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un recently said he no longer felt constrained by a moratorium on nuclear weapons tests as denuclearization talks with the United States stalled.
Washington assessed earlier this month that Pyongyang was preparing to conduct a nuclear test at the Punggye-ri facility. U.S. officials have documented repairs on a third tunnel, and tests are expected to take place in May or later. Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi also warned that North Korea could complete preparations for a nuclear test this month.
If the predictions of the United States and its allies come true, it would be the first time Pyongyang has detonated a nuclear device since September 2017.
Wu Ying (according to Yonhap News Agency)