North Korea preparing nuclear test for first time in years, intelligence officials say

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Western intelligence officials said North Korea was preparing to test nuclear weapons for the first time in more than four years. Rising tensions on the peninsula prompted China’s atomic envoy to meet his South Korean counterpart in Seoul on Tuesday, calling the situation “serious”.

According to a statement from South Korea’s foreign ministry, Noh Kyu-Duk hoped his Chinese counterpart Liu Xiaoming would play a “constructive role” in urging North Korea to return to the negotiating table.

North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un recently warned that he would use nuclear weapons “preemptively” if threatened. The dictator recently presided over another massive military parade to mark the 90th anniversary of the founding of North Korea’s revolutionary army.

KIM WARNS NORTH KOREA WILL ‘PREOPATIVELY’ USE NUCLEAR WEAPONS

Kim pledged to develop nuclear weapons at “the fastest possible speed”, according to his official media. There are fears that the North Korean dictator could use the opportunity to trigger another nuclear test to spoil President Biden’s upcoming summit on May 21 in South Korea, days after the country’s new leader took over the helm. next week.

Kim Jong Un at a meeting of the Workers' Party of Korea in Pyongyang, North Korea, on February 28.
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Kim Jong Un at a meeting of the Workers’ Party of Korea in Pyongyang, North Korea, on February 28.
(Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP, File)

The US military maintains a force of 28,500 soldiers in South Korea.

Calls are being made to return tactical nuclear warheads to South Korea for the first time in decades after North Korea tested an intercontinental ballistic missile in late March for the first time since 2017, following a wave of ballistic missiles to shorter range this year.

NORTH KOREAN DICTATOR THREATENS TO REINFORCE NUCLEAR ARSENAL DURING MILITARY PARADE

North Korea deployed its new ICBM in a military parade in October 2020. The missile tested in recent weeks has traveled nearly 4,000 miles through space, more than 15 times the orbit of the International Space Station . It has the reach to reach the United States, experts say. It remains unclear whether North Korea has developed a nuclear warhead capable of successfully reentering the Earth’s atmosphere.

In recent weeks, US spy satellites have detected new tunnels being drilled in the country, at a location where such tests have been carried out in the past, two US defense officials told Fox News.

KIM JONG UN OBSERVES NEW WEAPONS TEST TO IMPROVE NUCLEAR CAPABILITIES

Officials said new activity indicates another nuclear test may take place in the coming weeks. North Korea has carried out six nuclear weapons tests in its history, starting in 2006.

According to defense officials, intelligence analysts discovered active excavation equipment in Kilju, located in Hamgyong province, at a site where a nuclear weapon test was most recently carried out in September 2017.

South Korean President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol of the main opposition People Power Party celebrates with supporters at the party headquarters March 10 in Seoul.

South Korean President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol of the main opposition People Power Party celebrates with supporters at the party headquarters March 10 in Seoul.
(Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images, File)

South Korea’s new president is urging the Biden administration to deploy nuclear weapons to the peninsula for the first time since the end of the Cold War. Conservative President-elect Yoon Suk-Yeol, 61, will be sworn in next week. It is not immediately clear what type of strategic assets he has in mind. During the 1980s, the US military deployed short-range tactical nuclear missiles in South Korea.

NORTH KOREA WILL CAUSE ‘INIMAGINABLE DISASTER’ ON SOUTH KOREA IF ATTACKED, OFFICIALS SAY

On September 27, 1991, then-President George HW Bush ordered the dismantling of all deployed short-range nuclear missiles. He also announced that the US Navy would no longer deploy nuclear-tipped Tomahawk cruise missiles aboard warships and submarines under “normal circumstances”.

The United States will assume the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council this month. When Russian forces launched their full-scale invasion on February 24, they chaired the 15-nation panel. Some believe that Russia’s veto power will prevent the launch of more aggressive sanctions on Pyongyang.

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“Russia’s war in Ukraine is timely for North Korea. While the United States would like the United Nations to punish the North with tougher sanctions for all intercontinental ballistic missile testing, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un can play his part. great relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin and be sure that Russia will block such a move,” Donald Kirk wrote in “The Hill” on Monday.

Kim Jong Un visited Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Pacific port city of Vladivostok in 2019.

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