N. Korea May Be Preparing 5th Nuclear Test

N. Korea May Be Preparing 5th Nuclear TestN. Korea May Be Preparing 5th Nuclear Test

North Korea may be preparing to carry out a fifth nuclear test in the near future judging by commercial satellite images of the country’s nuclear test site taken on May 5, a US think tank said on Friday.

The 38 North website, run by Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, said the images showed vehicle movement at the site “not often seen there except during preparations for a test”.

There has been intense speculation that communist North Korea may conduct its fifth test of a nuclear device during a congress of the ruling Workers’ Party now underway, Reuters reported.

The analysis from 38 North said the imagery of the Punggye-ri test site “suggests that Pyongyang may be preparing for a nuclear test in the near future”.

It said that while the images continued to show low levels of activity, the vehicles had been spotted at what was believed to be the Command Center, some 6 km south of the main site.

The 38 North website reported last month that satellite images showed North Korea may have resumed tunneling at Punggye-ri, activity similar to that seen before the country’s most recent nuclear test in January.

North Korea has vowed to conduct more nuclear testing in spite of stepped up international sanctions after its previous test and a subsequent space rocket launch seen as a cover for development of its intercontinental ballistic missile program.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Friday hailed the recent nuclear test and launch of a satellite as he opened the first congress of the country’s ruling Workers’ Party in 36 years.