North Korea is ready for a nuclear test, South Korean PM says

According to a report by Sky News, North Korea might test a nuclear weapon in the coming days. South Korean prime minister Han Duck-soo told the network that the country is likely to roll it out soon. However, he did not provide any further details about by when that might happen. Han said it is “hard to know exactly when” the nuclear test might happen but “we gather that they are prepared”, he told Sky News.

Han said that the country is preparing for any such attack but did not tell what kind of a response can be expected. “We always have preparations for that kind of very undesirable action. We cannot say at this moment what kind of response will be made. But clearly we would like to have some kind of extended deterrence capabilities, including all kind of options,” he said.

The North has fired a record number of missiles this year, including Inter Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM). The total number is the highest since Kim Jong Un assumed power in 2011. Last month, the leader had said that the country’s ultimate goal is to possess the world’s most powerful nuclear force. Kim had said a nuclear force is to protect the dignity and sovereignty of the state and also the people. 

Without providing detailed information, Kim said that North Korean scientists have made a “wonderful leap forward in the development of the technology of mounting nuclear warheads on ballistic missiles.” 

One missile had landed in the sea to the south of the Northern Limit Line in November, the unofficial maritime border between North and South. One missile flew over Japan.

Earlier this month, it fired over 100 artillery shells into the sea, with some of the shells landing in a buffer zone near the sea border with Seoul. 

The North has blamed the joint military drills held by South Korea and the US last month as reason behind its numerous missile tests. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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