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N. Korea Completes Preparation for Nuclear Weapon Test

N. Korea Completes Preparation for Nuclear Weapon Test

Thursday, 19 May, 2022 - 05:15
File: This photo provided by the North Korean government shows what it says a test launch of a hypersonic missile on Jan. 11, 2022 in North Korea. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP, File)

North Korea has completed preparations for a nuclear test and is seeking the best moment to carry it out, a South Korean lawmaker said Thursday, a day before US President Joe Biden is due to arrive in Seoul.


Despite North Korea's recent Covid-19 outbreak, "preparations for a nuclear test have been completed and they are only looking for the right time", lawmaker Ha Tae-keung told reporters after being briefed by Seoul's National Intelligence Service.


The United States said earlier it believes there is a "genuine possibility" that North Korea could conduct a nuclear test while Biden is on his first trip as president to Asia.


Biden will arrive in Seoul late Friday for a series of summits, AFP said.


"Our intelligence does reflect the genuine possibility" of nuclear-capable missile tests or a nuclear weapon test around the time of Biden's trip, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said.


Satellite imagery indicates North Korea is preparing to conduct a nuclear test, and the United States and South Korea have been warning for weeks that it could come any day.


North Korea announced its first Covid-19 cases last week, and is now reporting hundreds of thousands of cases of "fever" daily, with analysts saying a test could help distract the regime from the outbreak.


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